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The STAR scheme: Opening new door of job opportunities for youth in Tier 2 towns and beyond

Indian IT-BPM industry has built its reputation in the global arena based on several differentiators-chief among them being manpower. Over the years, organizations across the world have come to recognize the value that India’s vast and readily available pool of IT professionals brings to every engagement. Global organizations have found it extremely cost-effective to leverage this significant resource and gain bottom-line benefits by harnessing its power and in addition to the harness the quality and innovation benefits, by working with the top of the line.  With the global markets veering towards recovery, IT-BPM organizations in India are back into hiring mode. In fact, by 2020, the sector is expected to create direct employment of 10 million and indirect employment of about 40 million, touching diverse sections of society.


 To take this task ahead the government of India set up the National Skills Development Corporation which is a unique public private partnership which aims to promote skill development by catalyzing creation of large, quality, for-profit vocational institutions.. NSDC has set up Sector Skills Councils (SSC) for 30 identified trades in the country and NASSCOM was set up as the SSC for the IT-ITeS industry. It has since come out with standards, curriculums and assessment matrix for the IT, ITeS, BPO industry.


STAR Scheme is the latest service provided by the NSDC for which NASSCOM has been the implementing body for the industry. Standard Training Assessment and Reward aims to encourage skill development for youth by providing monetary rewards for successful completion of approved training programs. Hear Finance Minister P Chidambaram talk about the vision of the program at the launch program. Specifically, the Scheme aims to:

  • Encourage standardization in the certification process and initiate a process of creating a registry of skills; and Increase productivity of the existing workforce and align the training and certification to the needs of the country.
  • Provide Monetary Awards for Skill Certification to boost employability and productivity of youth by incentivizing them for skill trainings.
  • Reward candidates undergoing skill training by authorized institutions at an average monetary reward of ₹ 10,000 (Rupees Ten Thousand) per candidate.
  • Benefit 10 lakh youth at an approximate total cost of ₹ 1,000 Crores.



How does the scheme operate? 

The scheme would reimburse the candidate that under takes training and gets an assessment completed or will also provide the monetary reimbursement to the companies and training organizations that provide the skills trainings to the enrolled youth. The SSC has identified 6 job roles where the STAR scheme will be effectuated in the BPM industry, these are, Domestic IT Help desk assistant, CRM Domestic Voice, CRM Domestic Non-Voice, Domestic Data Entry Operator, Domestic Biometric Data Operator and collections executive.  


The minimum qualifications for the six job roles is 10th standard, which open the doors to school drop outs in the country to get skilled on industry roles, get reimbursed for the training cost and then apply for roles within the industry. The BPM industry has been at the forefront of providing employment opportunities to the youth in the country and with the growth of the domestic BPM segment there has been a surge in the number of youngsters hired straight after senior secondary school.  


 The scheme is a big opportunity for the growing movement of providing job opportunities to youth in Tier 2 and 3 towns of the country. With the mainstream companies in the cities contemplating to move operations to these towns for cost arbitrage, this scheme can provide the much needed incentives for youth to get skilled in these regions and for the companies to take on the training initiatives for the candidates.


 This scheme also provides the much needed support projection for the growing Impact Sourcing Service Providers (small BPMs/less than 1500 seats) in the country. According to the latest research carried out by NASSCOM Foundation currently the ISSPs in the country provide opportunities to 9000 rural youth, which can increase exponentially with the STAR scheme spreading to the Tier2-3 towns and rural areas in the country. "Since training of the rural youth is a challenging situation that rural companies are grappling with, the incentive scheme will at the least lower the monetary burden on rural youth as well as companies in rural areas and also lead to development of high quality curriculum and assessments for everyone." Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation