A skill is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills. For example, in the domain of work, some general skills would include time management, teamwork and leadership, self motivation and others, whereas domain-specific skills would be useful only for a certain job.

Skill usually requires certain environmental stimuli and situations to assess the level of skill being shown and used. People need a broad range of skills in order to earn their livelihood and contribute to a modern in the twenty-first century. The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), a non-profit association for workplace learning and performance professionals study showed that through technology, the workplace is changing, and so are the skills that employees must have to be able to change with it. The study identified 16 basic skills that the workplace of the future would need in the employee of the future.

The skills involved can be defined by the organization concerned, or by third party institutions. They are usually defined in terms of a skills framework, also known as a competency framework or skills matrix. This consists of a list of skills, and a grading system, with a definition of what it means to be at particular level for a given skill. To be most useful, skills management needs to be conducted as an ongoing process, with individuals assessing and updating their recorded skill sets regularly. These updates should occur at least as frequently as employees' regular line manager reviews, and certainly when their skill sets have changed.

Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country. India is one of the youngest nations in the world, with more than 54% of the total population below 25 years of age and over 62% of the population in the working age group (15-59 years). The country’s population pyramid is expected to bulge across the 15-59 age group over the next decade. This demographic advantage is predicted to last only until 2040. India therefore has a very narrow time frame to harness its demographic dividend and to overcome its skill shortages.

The enormity of India’s skilling challenge is further aggravated by the fact that skill training efforts cut across multiple sectors and require the involvement of diverse stakeholders such as: multiple government departments at the centre and state levels, private training providers, educational and training institutions, employers, industry associations, assessment and certification bodies and trainees. All these stakeholders need to align their work together in order to achieve the target of ‘SkillIndia’. 

Mission Statement of Skill India:
To rapidly scale up skill development efforts in India, by creating an end-to-end, outcome-focused implementation framework, which aligns demands of the employers for a well-trained skilled workforce with aspirations of Indian citizens for sustainable livelihoods.