A steady paycheck can be a lifeline for the hundreds of millions who do not have it.

In India, most day-wage laborers, housepainters, carpenters, and self-employed small business owners such as tea-stall vendors, vegetable sellers wish for their children to escape the life of financial insecurity they themselves endure.

However, these youth must navigate a challenging job market. They often have little information about the employment process: what different careers entail, the expectations of a professional workplace, etc. Additionally, these youth often need to develop basic communication and computer skills to secure long-term careers.

With the support and tools to develop their skills, disadvantaged youth can hope to become productive and creative, improve their financial security and perhaps even contribute to the greater good.

FEA offers two different free programs, in north India’s Hindi belt, for urban youth and for rural youth to build productive and ethical mindsets and core employability skills.

The urban program. This program for youth in the 17+ age group is of one-year duration. Students attend in-person classes at neighborhood FEA branches for 1 hour 40 minutes a day, six days a week.

The rural program. This program for youth in the 18+ age group is of one-year duration. Students attend classes at FEA branches in their villages for two and half hours per day, six days a week.

Both curriculums build productive and ethical mindsets, English language skills, and digital literacy skills. Additionally, since nobody can really know what the careers of the future will look like FEA teaches students how to continue learning on their own after the program ends and stresses the virtue of being adaptable to workforce changes.

FEA also provides mentorship and career counselling to support students on their journeys.

Cumulatively, about a quarter of a million students have enrolled in FEA since its inception in 2010.

Deepak Chopra