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Barriers to skills development in India’s informal economy

Mullan, J; Rolleston, C; (2021) Barriers to skills development in India’s informal economy. International Journal of Training Research 10.1080/14480220.2020.1864445. (In press).

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Abstract

India’s informal economy accounts for more than half the country’s GDP but is characterised by low levels of skills, and considerable barriers to skills development for workers. The Government of India has implemented ambitious policy initiatives for upskilling, designed to catalyse ‘formalisation’ of the economy, and improve productivity. However, evidence on skills development remains weak. Drawing on systematic review methodologies, this article reviews and synthesises the literature on the practical barriers to upskilling. It finds that access to, and quality of, training (especially for women) are serious limitations, while skills are often under-utilised in the absence of supportive labour market and wider business environment conditions. Training is often insufficiently linked to labour market and learner needs, and the capacity of the training system is limited. Government should increase investment in training for the informal sector, and consider strengthening incentives for training providers to focus on improving training quality and relevance.

Type: Article
Title: Barriers to skills development in India’s informal economy
DOI: 10.1080/14480220.2020.1864445
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/14480220.2020.1864445
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Vocational education, training, educational policy, educational quality, access to education, skills policy, skills utilisation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122184
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