Fellow Since 2005
Youth Technical Training Society
This profile was prepared when Vineet Khanna was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
Managers of workshops and shop floors are reluctant to invest the much-needed time, confidence, trust and money in unskilled young people. Young people without work quickly grow disillusioned, become involved in anti-social behavior, and remain dependent on their extended families rather than establishing their own adult lives. Over the years, this situation has bred suspicion between the two groups of people who are on opposite sides of the job market. To overcome this predicament, Vineet involved managers and youth in setting up the Youth Technical Training Society in Chandigarh, Punjab, that provides hands-on technical training to unskilled, unemployed youth and opens up job opportunities for them. Unlike other placement organizations, the Society begins rather than ends its process by placing the youth in jobs in reputable companies. As apprentices in a wide network of host "associate companies," they acquire training and work experience. The incentive for employers is that the Society itself provides a modest stipend to the trainees during a six- to nine-month period of apprenticeship. The technical training offered by the Society includes mechanics, carpentry and electrical repair. While the majority of the trainees are school drop-outs, it has also placed some educated youth in computer and typing courses. Others work in the Society's "Blue Collar Service" offering senior citizens home services such as paying bills, providing mail and courier services, companionship and shopping.