The Kaushalya Skill Training Centre was established in 1992 to bring job-related training within the reach of youth from urban slums. Many youth, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds who are unable to complete schooling, lose the opportunity to get skilled jobs because of lack of necessary academic qualifications or because skill training is unaffordable/ inaccessible.
Kaushalya runs 1-year skill training courses in Electronics, Tailoring, Computers and Beauty Care, which are provided free of cost for young people. Admission to the courses is open in May-June each year. A Placement Officer also facilitates job placements in local companies for youth having completed their skill courses.
Along with the curriculum for each course, additional inputs are given to youth to prepare them for employment and independent living. Some of these include:
Practical training is provided through block placement in various companies to enable students gain first-hand experience. APSA works through its outreach programs to ensure that potential employers are matched with skilled youth, thus ensuring good jobs and fair pay.
Apart from these, the youth at Kaushalya also participate in various activities that add to their skills and personality development, as well as provide recreation. These include:
Since its inception, more than 3000 youth have passed out of the Kaushalya Skill Training Centre.
APSA has a similar tie-up with Tech-Mahindra Foundation in Mettuguda and Kawadiguda working areas in Hyderabad. The collaboration, which began at Kawadiguda in October 2010, extended to the Mettuguda area in March 2013. Under the SMART (Skills for Market Training), youth from disadvantaged families in APSA working areas are given skill training in Computers, Typing, Spoken English and Communications. The SMART program is based on curriculum in the form of modules developed by Tech-Mahindra. Job placement support is provided through a Placement Officer to trainees with local companies with follow-up for upto 6 months after placement.
The duration of the training is 6 months and each batch consists of 50 students, almost 80% of them young girls. An initial assessment of each trainee is undertaken to ascertain their interest and learning levels. There is an age criteria – 18 to 27 – which is, however, relaxed at the discretion of the faculty in cases where those above 27 greatly require training for employment.
Some unique components of the APSA-Tech-Mahindra SMART program include:
To date, the APSA-Tech-Mahindra project has trained and placed around 500 youth.