Pratham launched its Vocational Skilling program in 2005. The objective was to train youth (18‐25 years) from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and provide them with employable skills, coupled with access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Today, Pratham’s Skilling programs are spread across the country to enable youth to access entry-level jobs in 10 major vocations. Pratham’s affiliations include the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and multiple Sector Skill Councils.

In 2020, Pratham re-designed its training models to incorporate digital resources and launched the Hybrid Skilling program, with the primary focus of helping youth find employment in the post-pandemic world.



India has one of the youngest and largest workforce in the world, with 250 million youth expected to enter the working population over the next 10 years. However, less than 5% of India’s workforce is formally skilled and over 80% of the labour force is engaged in the informal economy. There is a significant gap between the aspirations and abilities of youth. Training youth in vocational courses and entrepreneurship which are aligned with industry demands will help to ensure that the enormous gap between youth aspirations and abilities begins to close. 


Pratham runs more than 140 centres across 18 states and 1 Union Territory in India with a placement rate of over 85 percent.

Over the past 10 years, Pratham’s Vocational Training programs have helped more than 200,000 youth across the country access industry-specific training and placement opportunities, through a network of over 2,000 employers. In 2022-23, more than 30,000 youth were trained.

  • Saraswati


    Her keen interest in business led to financial rewards & a secure future
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  • Jyoti

    Started as a Pratham Volunteer, she is now a nursing assistant
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  • Kedarnath

    Odisha's Kedarnath realised his dream of becoming a chef through Pratham
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Pratham’s training model is based on strong industry linkages, counselling and hands-on skills training as illustrated below:


Self-learning awareness courses which will give youth exposure to a trade, nature of job opportunities and stories of alumni.

Duration of 7-10 days.


Virtual training, which covers all the essential theory for the trade. Includes daily instructor-led training sessions.

Duration of 15-20 days.


Practical skills training to be completed either at a Pratham training centre, industry partner, or a community-based centre.

Duration of 30-45 days.

In addition to industry-specific skills, students are also offered basic English, computer literacy and life skills. Pratham currently offers certifications related to the following domains:

  • Care Economy: Beauty, Apparel, Hospitality and Healthcare
  • STEM Aligned: Electrical, Automotive, Welding and Construction
  • Green Skills: Solar Panel Repair, Plumbing, Drywall and False Ceiling Repair
  • IT Enabled Services (ITeS): Multi-functional Office Assistant, Graphic Design, Automotive Showroom Host

Apart from youth, Pratham also trains informal economy workers through two pathways:

  • For those who are already running micro-enterprises, Pratham provides mentoring and training in the fields of beauty, tailoring, automotive, food production and construction.
  • For uncertified workers, Pratham provides upskilling and certification in the fields of construction, domestic work, gig work and more.

A unique aspect of Pratham’s vocational training model is the focus on post-placement tracking and support. Youth are tracked and mentored for one year after graduation to encourage them to sustain in the workforce.


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