Vocational skilling is emerging as a better skill option. TeamLease, the temporary manpower staffing major, sees that an increasing number of food companies are now focusing on human resources-vocational skills over professional education. Therefore, TeamLease Skill University (TLSU), India’s first and only vocational education university, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship(MSDE), Government of India, to promote apprenticeship in the country.
Neeti Sharma, senior VP, TeamLease Services states, “Particularly, the food processing sector and hotel industry’s bakery unit and kitchens need skilled workforce at the entry levels. Salaries are attractive with promising career growth prospects at least for five to six years.” She adds “Vocational courses like baking have been in vogue. Now we also see the need for delivery personnel to cater to needs of e-commerce and food ordering business ventures. In such professions, being a graduate is not imperative instead there is need to comprehend the nuances of job. Any company would also provide lateral entry and exit points to candidates to pursue additional educational qualification.”
At TLSU, we have designed internships and apprenticeships for specific industry jobs. The two-year associated degree programme in hospitality grooms candidates straight out of school or pre-university to the much-needed exposure to industry demands. There is on-the-job internship which prepares the candidate to take on assignments from the day one after joining work, she explained. Such knowledge and skill-based programmes in vocational skilling courses enable higher productivity and better employ-ability. “Our understanding is that there is at least 15 to 20 per cent faster growth at the entry levels,” reasons Sharma.
Since employability is a serious issue in India because of capabilities of a candidate does not match industry expectations and hence, focused skilling is the way forward to solve the issues of job exposure.
A TeamLease report titled Professional Education versus Vocational Skilling states, “Typical job profiles in the food sector are plant baker, baking technician, delivery personnel, MBA in finance and human resources besides mechanical engineers. Now a baking technician is a superior skilled profile, earning Rs 19,000 comparable with all white collar profiles like MBA finance who carry a pay pack of Rs 24,300.”
It is high time when parents understand the need for skilling immediately after graduation over post graduation and MBA. “A visible trend is an increasing preference by the food industry for skills over degrees,” states Sharma. Food retail is a powerful purchasing platform, increased awareness among retail staff could only scale-up sales. “We see demand for fresh candidates who are trained around product offerings. Here the candidate should have the ability to provide advice to new-age customers on displayed products. Even a delivery personnel is a core to sales team for a food processing company. His knowledge about business, taxation, personal hygiene, food and road safety is key for his future growth,” trails off Sharma.
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