Bengaluru, January 4, 2024: Axis Bank Foundation (ABF) celebrates a decade of dedicated efforts towards empowering youths with disabilities in semi-urban and rural India, providing them with training and job avenues to build sustainable livelihood opportunities. In collaboration with Youth4Jobs (Y4J), ABF has trained more than 24000 youths who were facing challenges such as speech and hearing impairments, locomotive disabilities, and low vision. Through this programme and partnership, ABF and YFJ have achieved a remarkable placement rate of 60%.
This alliance underscores the Sustainable Livelihood Programme that supports youths in pursuing employment opportunities through a comprehensive skill development ecosystem. The partnership has developed a programme – WISE (Work Integrated Soft Skills and English) which mobilizes youths with disabilities to build skills, confidence and the capability to secure jobs in the organised sector. The WISE programme serves as a gateway for these youths to foray into mainstream sectors like retail, e-commerce, IT, hospitality and other service industries. In addition to providing extensive training and identifying the right placement opportunities, the programme also fosters an inclusive work environment by sensitising employers through workshops.
Over the past 10 years, this collective effort of the programme has achieved the following results:
- A total of 958 employers actively participated in the placement process, hiring 15,466 youths with disabilities, out of the 24,000+ young individuals who underwent training.
- Major sectors such as Retail, IT, and Hospitality have actively recruited participants, with notable companies like Amazon, Infosys, JIO, KFC, Reliance, Shoppers Stop, Zomato, Accenture etc.
- Through 860 workshops, 472 companies have been sensitized on the importance of inclusion, contributing to a significant growth in the number of first-time employers.
- Programme operation has grown from 2 training centres across 2 states to 22 centres in 16 states and Union Territories.
- Despite the challenges posed by the two-year COVID-19 pandemic, all batches have had an impressive placement rate.
- Participants have witnessed an increase in their income by 195% since the inception of the programme.
Reflecting on this transformative journey, Dhruvi Shah, CEO, of Axis Bank Foundation, said, “In our decade-long partnership with Youth4Jobs Foundation, we’re driven by a shared belief in inclusivity. Together we have been able to harness our collective strengths to successfully train and equip Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) with skills and confidence to enhance their transition and experience of the work ecosystem, making it more inclusive. Every success story, every individual we have empowered, underscores our commitment and the endless possibilities that lie ahead.”