Wadhwani Foundation seeks to supercharge skill development through “Race to a Job (RTAJ)”

Wadhwani Foundation’s RTAJ initiative in the US aims to supercharge the ObamaBlueprint for Career and Technical Education (CTE) by leveraging technology to bridge the gap between the skills acquired in high schools and community colleges and those required by the industry

This initiative will be branded in India as, "Race to a Job India"

  • RTAJ  India is a next generation, open access technology solution to transform student leaning and teacher training
  • RTAJ India will accelerate Wadhwani Foundation’s efforts to create employability through skill development
  • The Foundation’s existing skill development network (SDN) in 238 schools across Haryana and Himachal will provide a strong platform to the RTAJ initiative

New Delhi, October 7, 2013: Wadhwani Foundation today announced the launch of its initiative, ‘Race to a Job’ (RTAJ), in India. RTAJ is based on the premise that traditional skill-generating methods will not be enough to mobilize skill-sets required to harness India’s demographic dividend. 

It will transform how skill development happens by flipping the classroom to drive learner centric models, engage students through videos, games, simulations and peer activities and enable massive deployment through an anytime, anywhere technology platform. In short, this will create Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)for Jobs.

RTAJ will focus on 4 key strategies:

  • Revolutionizing skill education through technology
  • Encouraging innovative models of marrying key local industry to training providers
  • Leveraging existing network of educational and industry assets to the limit
  • Empower students to develop competencies autonomously and real jobs to drive learning

India aims to impart skill training to 500 million by 2022, a mammoth task by any means.It is technology that can help achieve this task, in collaboration with industry and academia in terms of scale, quality and consistency for high-demand, mid-skill jobs. Wadhwani Foundation is committed to working with the government to help youth achieve this goal.

Says Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, Chairman and Founder, Wadhwani Foundation, “Our ultimate aim is to help plug the skill-gap which is a critical determinant of India’s growth story. Race to a Job (RTAJ) is one such initiative where technology tools like online courses, simulation and gaming will enable skill development. Coupled with other existing Wadhwani Foundation Skilling Programs that provide Program Management, Curriculum Development, Faculty Training and Industry connects at State levels, RTAJ will be a catalyst to take skill development to scale and create an eco-system for larger participation”.

During the last decade, Wadhwani Foundation has launched five major initiatives in India to address job creation and skill development viz. promoting entrepreneurship, developing career skills, creating opportunities for the disabled, encouraging innovation and catalyzing policy changes. 

Dr. Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation, says “Race to a Job (RTAJ) is an ambitious high impact and niche programme to develop employment ready skill sets aided by a technology platform.We want to accelerate India’s economic development and our aim is to revolutionize skill development to achieve the objective of vocationally training 5 million students over the next five years. We will leverage our expertise in technology to enable sustained productive employment.To start with, our goal is to create hybrid online courses in a more standardized, nationally scalable and portable manner to maximum benefit of India’s growing human potential”.

The foundation over the last decade has done some path-breaking work with the single minded objective of “Creating Jobs for Millions”. It has pioneered efforts in five niche areas of development:

Job Creation through Entrepreneurship: Educating , mentoring and support first-generation entrepreneurs, with a 5 year target to create half a million high value jobs

  • Employability through Skill Development: Through the use of technology, to place 5 million in sustainable high-quality jobs over the next five years
  • Empower and mainstream the Educated Disabled:With a target to place 100,000 in corporate jobs over the next 5 years
  • World-class research & innovation: Facilitating world-class research at several prestigious institutes in high-impact areas
  • Accelerating Indo-US economic activity: Through a shared vision and a policy framework for economic acceleration

About Wadhwani Foundation:
Founded in 2003 by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, an IIT-Bombay alumnus with an M.S and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and an IT entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, California. Romesh is the Founder-Chairman of the $3 billion Symphony Technology Group.  

The Wadhwani Foundation is a not-for-profit organization focusing on high impact, niche activities leading to accelerated economic development. Its mission is to help individuals achieve their full potential, regardless of their background. 

The Foundation, which does not invest in for-profit business opportunities currently works in India on five specific initiatives:

  • NEN – With the help of its National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), the Foundation facilitated the setting up of over 700 companies in fiscal 2012-2013. Over 500 institutes work with NEN and reach over 500,000 students every year. 100,000 students join the Wadhwani Foundation Entrepreneur Cell on campus every year
  • SDN - Through Skill Development Network (SDN), the Foundation trained 5000 students in Haryana. This year, the target is to scale operations to 250 schools and reach 40,000 students across multiple states. The National framework for VTE and 200 CC pilots have been passed by the Cabinet 
  • ODN – Opportunity Network for Disabled has trained and placed 7000 PwD in corporate jobs. Over 100 Corporates and 500 HR and Business managers have been sensitized. Several Government organizations, Corporate Training and Private Trainers have been mobilized to recruit and train PwD to achieve the set goal of 100,000
  • RIN - Research and Innovation Network was initiated in 2009 at IIT Mumbai. In 2012, this was followed by the ShantaWadhwani Research Center at NCBS. Across both these centers, over 40 investigators and over 150 PhD. and post-doctorate scholars have been engaged in targeted cancer, cardiac and neural research
  • India-US Policy - The Wadhwani Foundation has established parallel Chairs mandated to focus on improving Indo-US bilateral Relations, both at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington DC and at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi