These are pre-pandemic estimations and data, and we all have witnessed and contributed equally to the growth of online media industry during the lockdown.
The number of social media influencers posting videos on anything and everything from, cooking, to life lessons, to pet videos to someone posting close to 200 videos of just staring at the camera for 4 hours has just been increasing every day.
The Tik-tokers and the Instagram Reel makers are not just based in the media capitals of the world, but many of them or rather most of them are from the remote rural locations or tier-2 and tier-3 cities, than those from media hubs such as Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc.
Same goes for the professional on-line gamers, content creators and animation experts.
So, with these market growth estimations and factual data, for Skill Development every data of market growth, translates into Demand for Skill, Entrepreneurship and Employment opportunities for our youth. And that’s exactly what we at the National Skill Development Corporation focus on and simultaneously grapple with too.
Education and Skill Development for the Media and Entertainment Sector, especially from the point of Public Policy and Govt. interventions
To cater to the increasing demand of skilled human resource across sectors and to provide better employability skills to the youth, Government of India launched a dedicated Skill India Mission and also established a specific Ministry, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in the year 2014. And since then, the National Skill Development Corporation i.e. NSDC has been working under the aegis of the Ministry along with the Training partners and 36 Sector Skill Councils with a sole intention of making India the Skill Capital of the World – A vision of our Honorable Prime Minister and that of the Skill India Mission.
The Media and Entertainment sector, one of the largest sectors employing both unskilled and skilled youth in the formal and in-formal employment engagement. The Govt. of India through NSDC established the Media and Entertainment Sector Skill Council in the year 2012.
The MESC is an industry led body, formed with an objective to assess the skill demand, create training content as per industry requirement and ensure the acceptability of the industry at both national and global level.
MESC has been recognised and authorised by Govt. of India to create training content and award certificates as per the National Skill Qualification Framework.
In addition to the above, the Govt. of India also revamped the education policy and thus came into force the National Education Policy in June, 2020. This new Education policy, focuses highly on ensuring skill development of the children along with the pedagogy of science, math and literature right from the primary school level. The Indian education system with legacy of the British colonialism has a system which was designed to create clerks and instruction following professionals. The National Education Policy is revolutionary in all manners. The new policy will strive towards removal of the incorrectly perceived hierarchy of education over skills/vocational education and enable them to be equally valued in the process of Human Development. This behavioral change in the society will definitely require extensive deployment of resources and time.
Opportunities and challenges of skill development and education in the Media and Entertainment sector–
- Negative image of the sector:
Negative image of the sector largely misplaced with film and Television industry, in general, mostly among the larger population of the working class both educated and semi or illiterate families. The print, animation and gaming sectors are not so quickly associated with the Media Sector by a common man.
The Media industry is not the first choice of education or career path selected by most parents for their kids,
- Absence of Information:
Information on kinds of job opportunities, types of work, etc. within the M&E Sector, even an educated graduate from the best of the universities or her/his faculty does not know what all career growth options are available in this sector. In Indian society, the career path of most children is decided not by the child or the youth but more so by influencers such as parents, some random distant relative who is successful, teachers, etc.
When these influencers have a negative perception towards the sector and do not have any exposure or information on the employment and growth opportunities in the sector, how do we assume that they will push their kids to join this sector?
Need to strategize on how to influence these career influencers using our social media influencers!!
Next Counselling not just for the students but for the parents, teachers, college faculty, etc. Career Counselling and mass dissemination of information to break the myths and perceptions of people.
- Dearth of Infrastructure – Educational and Skill Development Infrastructure of Global Standards
Low investment and presence in Infrastructure development, so for the aspiring youth to enter the industry; they do not have the requisite avenues to gain the knowledge or skills.
NSDC is working closely with the schools and colleges across the country to provide the training opportunities to the students and youth and we see an increasing demand for the courses from Media sector. We are also working with large media conglomerates to establish Center of Excellences across the country and MESC is leading this initiative through their institutional partners. We now are present in 1700+ schools and colleges with 64 qualification packs, providing training opportunities to the youth.
Opportunities / Strengths
- Very High Aspiration Value among Youth
Across the social strata, professional expertise and geography, every youngster today wants to be part of this sector.
It cuts across every aspect of the economy with opportunities for every field of professional – IT /Engineers /Liberal Arts / Management / Researchers / Artists/ skilled / semi-skilled, etc. and to a very good extent gender agnostic too. The female labour force who participation in this sector is not restricted by the perceptions and structure of the sectors such as manufacturing and engineering, rather this is one of the few sectors that promotes and has demand for all the genders.
- High Pace of Sectoral Growth
One of the fastest growing sectors and most probably now the highest employment generator – direct and indirect jobs and entrepreneurs both through Social Media, Traditional Media of print & TV/Radio, Associated Manufacturing & Technology Sector, etc. including value of a sector can be assessed by the role it plays in promotion or growth of other sectors. For e.g. The mobile phone market is expanding not as much due to the improved technology of call connectivity as much as by supplying for the demand of the consumer, demand for better quality pictures and high speed internet connectivity for the consumer’s social media presence. For a new phone launch, they primarily focus on the quality of the Camera rather than the phone’s ability to function perfectly in low mobile network region.
And as academicians, professionals and policy experts of Media and Education sector, we all have a responsibility towards our youth; a responsibility to provide them with best possible curriculum, avenues of skill training, information on career prospects and opportunities to contribute to the economy.
Let us all strive to make Azadi ka Amrut, truly the potion of perpetual growth and independence for the youth of our nation.