In 2005, Pratham launched Pratham Institute, its vocational skilling arm. The objective was to train youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds (age 18‐25 years) and provide them with employable skills, coupled with access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Today Pratham Institute programs across the country enable youth to access entry-level positions and placements in 10 major vocations. Approximately 25,000 young people were reached in 2017-2018, and the youth were trained and subsequently placed in entry level jobs or helped to start their own businesses.

New Beginnings- The Next Chapter for Skilling


India will have the world’s youngest population by 2020, with an average age of 29 years and 13 million people entering the workforce each year. However, as the ASER survey has shown, learning outcomes of students completing primary or even secondary schooling are extremely low, closing pathways to senior secondary or higher education. While vocational skills could be a short-term solution, only 2 percent of the workforce in India is currently formally skilled, leaving the vast majority of youth without the skills, knowhow or networks to enter the workforce. This leads to large scale unemployment or under-employment, even as industries are unable to fill their job vacancies.


Pratham conducts short-term, often residential courses of 2 to 3 months in duration, focusing on young men and women from rural areas and urban slums. The model is based on strong industry linkages and youth counselling and focuses on hands-on skills training. Courses taught include construction (including electrical, plumbing, masonry and welding), hospitality (housekeeping, food and beverage service and food production), automotive mechanic, healthcare nursing and beauty and wellness services. In addition to industry specific skills, students also learn basic English, computer literacy and life skills. Pratham has a four-step approach to its vocational training programs:

  • Mobilization
  • Training
  • Placement
  • Post-placement support


For youth who are interested in setting up their own enterprises near their homes and to support creation of new jobs, Pratham provides mentoring support to set up micro-enterprises. Up until now, we have supported over 1,500 such youth (primarily women) to set up successful enterprises in the fields of beauty, electrical service and construction.

A unique aspect of Pratham’s vocational training model is the focus on post-placement tracking and support, coupled with financial sustainability. Youth placed in wage employment or supported to set up micro-enterprises are tracked and mentored for a one-year period to encourage them to continue their current jobs, upgrade to new placements and acquire additional skills. Students are further supported to overcome problems of migration through the Pratham Alumni (PAL) Network, which provides support in the form of accommodation and mess facilities, counselling, social networks, mediation with employers, support in accessing health services, etc. This suite of post-placement services has been instrumental in increasing the retention of students in their first jobs.

Pratham has also initiated innovative models to impact the skilling ecosystem. These include an ‘Employment Awareness’ model targeted at adolescent girls and young women, which is implemented in association with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Maharashtra Government to tackle the low-exposure and lack of information prevalent particularly among rural youth.

Migration-support hostels across Delhi, Mumbai and Pune have also been launched to support low-income migrant youth whose first jobs are in these urban areas. Further, several initiatives have been undertaken to increase the sustainability of vocational training through end-user fees and also a ‘business-linked’ training model where trainees use skills to service customers in Pratham’s hospitality training centre and beauty course.

Pratham’s affiliations include National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and government sector skill councils. Pratham also has knowledge partnerships with Larsen & Toubro, Tata Motors, and Godrej, among others. Pratham’s vocational program has won awards from the state governments of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, as well as the NSDC.

Reach and Scale

Pratham runs 90+ centres across 14 states and 1 Union Territory in India, with a placement rate of over 85 percent. More than 26,000 students will be trained in 2018-19. Over the past ten years Pratham’s vocational training programs have helped nearly 100,000 youth across the country improve general employability skills, and more than 50,000 youth in industry specific trades. We have also developed partnerships with a large number of employers to offer entry-level jobs to our graduates.




Reopen schools as soon as possible ... See MoreSee Less

19 hours ago

Pratham Education Foundation
"My school is closed but I want children in my locality to continue their learning", says Asha who is in grade 10 from Khedli Basla village in Rajasthan. She is a volunteer and helps children in her locality to learn with the help of interesting activities which she receives from Pratham.In this picture, she is conducting a number recognition activity 'Nagu Naag' with children so that they can learn numbers and counting while having fun!..#children #learning #volunteer #community #foundationalskills #math #literacy ... See MoreSee Less
#MilestoneAchieved! 40,000+ youth learners. 10,000+ communities. 15 States.With your support and participation, we have successfully completed one year of YouthNet. Together, we have supported, engaged, and empowered youth and enabled them to be better prepared for school, work and life. Taking this forward, we are delighted to invite you to YouthNet's One Year Anniversary Celebration. Get ready for some exciting performances, panel discussions, and interactive sessions with the community members. Stay tuned to our stories for the event updates! #jahanhowahinseekho..#edutech #YouthNet #technology #digitallearning #education #school #skilling #youth ... See MoreSee Less
This picture is from Solpada village in Jharkhand. Rani, Sumitra and Balema are conducting 'Number Card' activity with a large group of children to strengthen their number recognition skills.Rani, Sumitra and Balema are volunteers who conduct 'Math Learning Camp' with separate groups of children in their locality every day. In the end, they all come together to get engaged in some fun-learning activity/game shared by Pratham in a large group and have lots of fun!..#education #volunteer #learning #community #children #math #literacy #foundationskills #pratham #jharkhand ... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago

Pratham Education Foundation
"I firmly believe that education is the birth right of every child and no child should be left behind. I am very happy that I can help children in my community to learn while schools are closed. All thanks to Pratham who gave me this opportunity to support children and for sharing a lot of fun-learning activities with us.", says Rahi, a grade 12 student and volunteer from Bagi Zohra community of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. In this picture, the children and her are playing a fun-learning game 'Paase ka khel' or 'Dice game', with a twist! Here children are not only learning numbers but also strengthening their colour recognition skills!..#education #volunteer #learning #community #children #math #literacy #foundationskills ... See MoreSee Less