The South African Brics Skills Development Working Group (SDWG) was invited to attend a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) “Skilling for the Future” conference in Delhi during September 2016 alongside a skills working group conference. FICCI is an association of business organizations in India. Established in 1927, it is the largest, oldest business organisations in India. It is a non-government, not-for-profit organisations. FICCI draws its membership from the corporate sector, both private and public, including SMEs and MNCs. The chamber has an indirect membership of over 2,500,000 companies from various regional chambers of commerce. It is involved in sector specific business policy consensus building, and business promotion and networking. It is headquartered in the national capital New Delhi and has presence in 12 states in India and 8 countries across the world.

The conference began with an overview of the skills landscape by the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship. This was followed by the showcasing of a number of initiatives creating training and employment opportunities. These included training of 1million Uber drivers, employment opportunities in digital/logistics enterprises and an engineering programme that facilitates design, development and “pitch”of products to potential investors in Silicon Valley in a project aiming to “get engineers to be engineers”

Whilst India has a number of challenges, particularly with the numbers of people that need to be skilled, upskilled and employed, there appears to be focused desire to achieve the national targets that have been determined. Substantial progress has been made in a number of areas:

1. Establishment of the Skills and Entrepreneurship Ministry

2. Improved utilisation of existing infrastructure and capacity

3. Encouraged use of Corporate Social Responsibility budgets for skills development

4. Establishment of skills sectorial bodies

5. Completion of curriculums for a number of occupations

The SDWG meeting on day 2 incorporated feedback from Brics countries on the state of Industry 4.0 in each country, including

A case study

Government initiatives to promote Industry 4.0

Memorandums of Understanding between countries on skills development initiatives relating to Industry 4.0

The afternoon ended with World Café style conversations around activities and policies that work in each country and possible Brics collaboration opportunities

All of the presentations will be consolidated with research already conducted to produces a white paper on industry 4.0 being presented at the Brics Summit in Goa, October 2016

Sherrie Donaldson

SA BRICS Business Council Skills Development Working Group