Project: Employability Education in partnership with Medha
Location: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh; Gurgaon, Haryana
Improving the Job Skills of Young Women
Medha improves employment outcomes for youth in India. It provides 21st-century skills training, career guidance and mentorship, on-the-job exposure, and job placement assistance to students at the educational institutions they attend.
Medha’s target population is students enrolled in government and government-aided colleges and polytechnics who are pursuing “general stream” degrees (BA, BSc, BCom) or engineering diplomas. Medha works primarily with young women from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds. Over the last three years, 75% of Medha’s students have been women, and 77% have come from Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe/Other Backward Caste communities.
In the past three years, Medha has grown from training 57 students in three colleges to training 2,000 students in 25 colleges. In 2015, Medha signed agreements with the Department of Higher Education and Technical Education in Uttar Pradesh to work in an additional 10 degree colleges and five polytechnics across seven districts.
As the academic year began, Medha expanded to five new districts (Sitapur, Sultanpur, Barabanki, Raebareli, and Gorakhpur) and worked with 11 new educational institutions. Medha signed landmark agreements with two state universities—the University of Lucknow and Gorakhpur University—to provide on-campus employability training and career services to their students. Combined, these universities serve more than 400,000 students in 250 affiliated colleges—a huge milestone on the path to mainstreaming Medha’s program into the existing education system.
Building upon the recent expansion, Medha plans to scale its programs to an additional 12 districts in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Thirty Career Service Centers (CSCs) will be operating in the upcoming academic year, serving a total of 3,000 students. These centers act as hubs on campus where all Medha-related employability programs are based. In the years ahead, Medha will continue to impact students’ lives and their communities by improving their employability, skill development, and self-image.
–2015 IDS annual report
Medha is an organization designed to help college graduates improve their employment prospects. More than 50% of India’s college graduates lack employability skills. Medha provides career counseling, skills training, and workplace exposure to students at their current educational institution. Medha’s target population is students enrolled in government and government-aided colleges who are pursuing mainstream degrees such as Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Communications. Medha works primarily with young women from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds. (Over the last three years, 80% of Medha’s students have been women, and over 75% have come from disadvantaged communities.)
In the past two years, Medha has gone from training 57 students in three colleges to training 400 students in ten colleges. One of the key changes Medha has made to spark this kind of growth is the establishment of Career Service Centers (CSC) at the partner educational institutions. These centers act as a hub on campus where all Medha-related employability programs are based.
Medha has expanded its growth from ten educational institutions across Lucknow to colleges in the neighboring districts of Amethi and Raebareli. Building upon this growth, we have signed agreements with the Department of Higher Education and Technical Education in Uttar Pradesh to work in ten additional colleges and five polytechnics in seven districts starting in the 2015–16 academic year. Combined with our organic growth, we plan to operate 25 CSCs in the upcoming academic year, serving a total of 1,500 students.
Students complete 180 hours of career services and employability skills training in addition to an internship of 100 hours. Beyond the structured training courses, the center is open for “drop-in” services and one-on-one counseling.
Internships, or on-the-job training, are an essential component of the Medha program. The training and counseling focuses on transferable employability skills; however, internship placements are based on student demand, skill sets, and the availability of internship opportunities. Sixty percent of the internships turn into full-time placements.
Medha has a dedicated monitoring and evaluation function that is responsible for all data collection and measurement of program objectives and impact. We track over 25 indicators across five key program objectives.
Based on this data, Medha students:
- find a job 60 days faster than non-Medha students
- are 70% more likely to find work in the formal sector
- earn 50% more than workers in the informal sector
- qualify for government jobs twice as often
- increase their chances of undertaking advanced studies by 50%
–2014 IDS annual report