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Skilling For The Future

20-year-old Shiv was skeptical about his future when the Covid-induced lockdown began. However, he soon realised that upskilling himself was the only way forward. 

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The COVID-19 crisis sent shockwaves through industries and economies, but perhaps its greatest impact on people has been fear and uncertainty. Covid-induced lockdown and low job opportunities made 20-year-old Shiv Shankar Jha skeptical about his future as well. 

Jha hails from Jogiyara village of Darbhanga district and is an alumnus of Government ITI Darbhanga, Bihar. His father and elder brother both work in a private company in New Delhi, while his mother is a housewife. They belong to a lower-middle-class family.

Jha always wanted to do something for his family to support them financially. He opted for the electronic mechanic trade in the ITI as this trade offered multiple job opportunities. However, when the pandemic hit and everything went under complete lockdown, Jha was worried about his future.  

According to the report - ‘Migration in India’ released by the National Statistical Office,  the pandemic may have forced 51.6 percent of men in urban India to migrate to their rural homes in what could be the country’s worst reverse migration. This figure substantiates the unprecedented unemployment crisis that rankled the Indian labor ecosystem in the months following the lockdown.

“Owing to the lockdown, my family's financial condition worsened.  My father and my elder brother were out of work. They could not even come to the village. The insecurities around the job and reverse migration made me worry more about my future. I was confused about what to do and how to seek employment. There was uncertainty in the job market due to mass layoffs,” he says.

However, Jha never lost hope and managed to secure a job at Tata Motors, Sanand, Gujarat.

He adds, “I soon realized that I must upgrade my skills in the rapidly changing job market. I have been following the MyQuest Alumni Bihar page. From there, I came to know about the placement event organized by Quest Alliance. I participated in the event and was selected by Tata Motors for an apprenticeship program. My happiness knew no bounds. Everyone in the family was happy, especially my mom, who always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Even my grandfather encouraged me to pursue the opportunity and build my career. I was delighted.”

Jha wants to pursue higher studies and move abroad for his future endeavors. In a message to other learners, he says, “Don’t be afraid to take challenges, don't be fearful. Take risks and try to overcome fears. Initially, you will face difficulties.  It would be hard to cope sometimes, but once you decide to work with all your heart, nothing will stop you.”  

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Shiv has been part of our MyQuest Program since 2021 under the Skills to Succeed initiative supported by Accenture. Initiated in 2012, the Project is spread across 7 states - Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Since its inception, we have upskilled 175,000 young people in Industrial Training Institutes and Vocational Training Institutes.

To learn more about this project, read here.

Shiv Shankar Jha

Alumni, ITI Darbhanga, Bihar

“Don’t be afraid to take challenges…It would be hard to cope sometimes, but once you decide to work with all your heart, nothing will stop you.”