About ASAP
Higher Education, General Education and Local Self Government Departments of Kerala State Government in India have jointly launched an Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP) as part of State Skill Development Programme to enhance the employability of students passing out of Higher Secondary Schools (+2) as well as Arts and Science Colleges in the state.


Historically Kerala has been a prominent supplier of skilled human resource to the rest of the world. But now, in accordance with the requirements of the fast changing world, though Kerala has an amazing
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pool of Human Resource, the overall employability is calculated below twenty five percent, the ASAP project document says.


Launch of ASAP
Additional Skill Acquisition Programme has been conceived as an effective remedy for this situation. The whole idea is that the students will be given skill training, in addition to their regular academic programme/curriculum, in the crucial sectors as being demanded by the Industry. These skill training will be conducted before and after school/college timings as well as during holidays/vacations. Thus when they complete their regular academic programmes they will also
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get additional skill certifications. This will ensure them job opportunities immediately on completion of each stage of their academic programme, say on completing +2 or on completion of undergraduate programmes like B.A, B.Sc etc. Thereafter they can go for full time job or can opt part-time job and continue higher studies.


Since the entire exercise is for enhancing employability, the identification of sectors for skill development and the development of curriculum and training methodologies will be carried out in consultation with the Industry. Opportunity for practical training /apprenticeship at the related industries shall also be arranged. Moreover, the certifications and syllabi under the programme will be aligned with the National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF). Programmes will also be linked to the placement services.


The programme will be implemented in Government and Aided Educational Institutions. In each institution, the programme will be co-ordinated by specially trained Programme Managers appointed by the ASAP Secretariat that functions under General and Higher Education Departments. The students will be trained by professional and well trained Skill Development Executives. There will also be a Lifelong Learning System to ensure continuous knowledge and skill updating by Programme Mangers and Skill Development Executives. Therefore these PMs and SDEs together will form a higher layer of professionals with advanced skills in the related areas. Their services can be made use for other development activities of the state as well. This will be an added advantage.

Following are the sectors identified for skill development:

  1. Hospitality
  2. Organized Retail
  3. Healthcare
  4. IT & ITES
  5. Event Management
  6. Business Services
  7. Media and Entertainment Industry
  8. Banking and Finance Sector
  9. Construction
  10. Agriculture


All the training programmes shall have an initial round of soft skill development (Communicative English and IT) followed by the intensive training in the selected skill domains. For sustainability of the programme Community Resource Centres, an advanced version of the community college concept, will also be implemented in a later stage. The Community Resource Centres will explore all possibilities of lifelong learning including the use of Open Educational Resources.


The programme was envisaged by Dr. K.M. Abraham, Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Government of Kerala, who is a Management, Financial and Educational Expert as well as a very successful administrator belongs to Indian Administrative Service.


The successful implementation of the project shall make Kerala a premier Human Resources Hub in the region.