By Steve Howell

India is aiming to train 500 million people in the next ten years – and Welsh training companies and colleges should be looking to get a slice of the action.

That’s the message from the UK India Business Council, which this week unveiled plans for a ‘skills delegation’ to go to Hyderabad and New Delhi in September.

The itinerary for the six-day visit includes presentations on government training initiatives, a roundtable on the healthcare sector, briefings on how to do business in India and an opportunity to take part in a ‘skills summit’ organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

“The UK India Business Council skills delegation to India is a great opportunity for Welsh training companies of all types and sizes – including further education colleges, private sector skills providers, awarding bodies and education management companies,” said Richard Heald, chief executive, UK India Business Council.

“India has a target to train 500 million people by 2022, which presents a range of opportunities for UK expertise. There will be delegates from across the UK, and, of course, we would warmly welcome any Welsh skills providers or training companies who are interested in exploring the opportunities in India.

“The delegation will travel to Hyderabad and New Delhi. In both cities, there will be a wide-ranging programme, with one of the key strands being healthcare training.”

A highlight will be a visit to Apollo Health City in Hyderabad, which opened in 1988 with a mission to provide a perfect example of an integrated health care system.

It features multiple specialties and centres of excellence, preventive care and wellness services, education, research, information technology and life sciences in a single sprawling campus that includes a 400-bed hospital.

While in Hyderabad – the capital of Andhra Pradesh, the fifth largest of India’s 28 states – the delegation will be hosted by the state government’s skills training initiative, REEMAP.

The aim of REEMAP is to build job specific skills among the unemployed and place 1,500,000 young people in private sector jobs by 2014.

It is hoped that the discussions between the visiting training providers and key individuals in the REEMAP initiative will lead to the signing of an agreement outlining areas for collaboration.

In Delhi, the country’s largest metropolis and the home of India’s national government, the delegation will have discussions with Indian private sector skills organisations and a roundtable on the role of Indian Training Institutes.

There will also be a workshop on financial and legal issues when trading in India and a networking session at the British High Commission.

Non-members of the UKIBC will be charged an administration fee of £500 for the visit and UKBIC has arranged a hotel package to cover seven nights in the two cities for £850, including breakfast. Delegates make their own travel arrangements but the UKIBC has a list of recommended flights.

The delegation will be led by Patricia Hewitt, chair of UKIBC and the former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry under Tony Blair.

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For more information on the India skills delegation, visit –

Photograph by: Jorg Hackemann /