Aligning competencies of the informal workforce to the mainstream, over 4.8 lakh skilled workers have been certified under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojanas (PMKVY) Recognition of the Prior Learning programme, an official statement said on Monday.

In less than two years of its commencement, the programme has covered 458 districts across India covering skills ranging from carpet weavers in Rajasthan, tea plantation workers in West Bengal and rubber plantation workers in North East.

“The candidates have been enrolled, assessed and certified in 185 job roles across 30 sectors,” a statement said.

The Recognition of Prior Learning programme is one of the key components under PMKVY, whereby informal skills such as construction, masonry, plumbing, carpentry and yoga, which are generally acquired through family trades or gained from life experiences, are assessed and certified based on the standards set by the National Skills Qualification Network (NSQF) framework.

Rajesh Agrawal, Joint Secretary at the Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry, said the informal sector contributes nearly 80 per cent to the national income and overall economy.

“Reminiscing a strong interest in the informal economy as one of the routes towards building sustainable livelihood, the RPL program aims to standardise and benchmark the unorganised skills and knowledge,” he said.

He said the programme would serve as a vehicle for redressing inequalities in occupations.

National Skill Development Corporation’s Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Jayant Krishna said: “We have significant population in the formal and informal sectors whose competencies acquired on-the-job and home-grown skills can be mapped and certified to reap the benefits of a better skilled and more productive workforce.”