Light House Project is the platform by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) that will provide the underprivileged youth of Pune a chance to explore possibilities for enhancing their skills and pursuing a meaningful career.

Why Light House Project?

As India evolves as a knowledge-based economy due to the abundance of capable, flexible and qualified human capital, there is a need to further develop and empower this human capital to ensure the nation’s global competitiveness.

Currently India lags behind in imparting skill training as compared to others. Only 10% of the total workforce in the country receives some kind of skill training (2% with formal training and 8% with informal training). Further, 80% of the entrants into the workforce do not have the opportunity for skill training. Despite the emphasis laid on education and training there is still a shortage of skilled manpower to address the mounting needs and demands of the economy.

Light House Project Foundation Course:

Most youth, especially those from underprivileged sections of our society, start their search for a suitable livelihood with a confused mindset. They are usually restrained by their self image and steeped in self-doubt. Their aspirations are limited to being able to earn enough to make do from day-to-day.

Hence the foundation Course at the Lighthouse is geared towards awakening the youth’s inner “Agency”. The concept of having ‘Agency’ within oneself refers to the capacity of an individual to determine his/ her future. Awakening agency, will entail self-exploration, evolution of self-image and seeing new possibilities for oneself. It will also include the development of human capacities and life skills such as reflection, listening skills, empathy, creativity, problem-solving, etc.

Counselling & Market Exploration:

The counselors at the Lighthouse, help youth discover livelihood options which enable the emergence of his/her full potential. For example, A boy who loves working around automobiles, may use his innate skills to the optimum, by becoming a car mechanic and perhaps in time could own his garage! The counselor and the boy will essentially look for an overlap between his passion, talent, intelligence, life situation and job opportunities.

If a youth wishes, he/ she can choose to work under a volunteer as an apprentice in a vocation of his/ her choice to explore whether it is something he/ she wishes to pursue further. If not, the youth is free to explore other opportunities . The Lighthouse will be an accepting, non-judgmental space for each individual to be able to find themselves and work their way towards achieving full potential.

Skills Training/Entrepreneurial/ Academic Programs:

Once the youth has decided on his /her preferred vocation, the next step is to acquire the necessary skills or even opt for higher studies. There is an array of courses ranging from home-chef and nursing to IT-enabled skilling and other employability enhancement programs.

Culture of Learning:

The entire program is structured such that the participants have a feeling of space, freedom and creativity within they can discover their strengths and interests.

Internships & Placements:

Employment/ Entrepreneurship / Pursuit of Higher education:

The youth receive placement assistance, and/ or be provided assistance with placement in B.Voc. programs, at partner Universities. Even after youth who graduate from the Lighthouse get a job, or start their own enterprise or move on to higher education, they will still be welcomed back to the Lighthouse for reinforcement learning, or for acquiring a new skill by taking up fresh modules.

The idea is to deeply instill a life-long learner mind-set:

Learner Centered Pedagogy: To promote life long learner mindset:

  1. Lead Facilitator & coach- enabler, challenger, guide.
  2. Self directed learning -using Technology.
  3. Learning from and with peers- Team based projects, challenges.
  4. Mastering a skill- Rigor, focus, practice.
  5. Experiential learning- Application of skills and concepts, reflection, action.

Skills Market Place (Online portal for market linkages):

The Skills Marketplace is a portal where all those who would like to market their particular skills, can do so. For instance, the plumbers, carpenters, cooks and other skilled personnel in the city can get connected to those who would like to avail their services.

{The youth can also register their services in the Skills Market Place, an online portal that will connect service providers with those who need these services.}

Long-term Impact of the Lighthouse program:

  1. Fostering a culture of “one-ness” in society leading to overall social transformation.
  2. Economic growth triggered by skilled and empowered youth entering the job market.
  3. Development of communities that take responsibility for individual & collective goals, through the emergence of youth leadership

Goals for till 2018:

  1. Open 5 Lighthouse centers across Pune by March 2017. All 15 wards in Pune will have a Lighthouse by March 18.
  2. Each Lighthouse will cater to 3 -4 slum communities.
  3. Annual enrollment of 1000 youth per Lighthouse by March 2018.
  4. Develop citizen Engagement portal & create city-wide volunteering campaigns by March 2017.
  5. Develop Skills Market Place portal by March 2017