Future of ITIs
Both vocational training and institutions like the Industrial Training Institutes have been under the radar of state and central government for years now. Established in almost all states, the training institutes have either remained stagnant or in worst cases gone down the hill. While state and union governments have been on the same page on human resource development, particularly to enhance skill based training and make industry-ready work force, the training institutes have hardly reached the minimum threshold to take off. In India there are around 13000 ITIs, with over two million students enrolled who receive training in different trades.
With the poor performance exhibited by a large number of them in terms of quality training, incompetent instructors and lacking facilities, the union government decided to take action and de-affiliate the institutes that have not improved the standards. Reportedly, 400 ITIs were in the list of those being de-affiliated.
In J&K too the ITIs have not grown beyond a point. Although thousands of students are trained in different trades, skill-based, the future of these institutes appear to be grim if they do not adapt to the changing socio-economic milieu. However, there is a silver lining. There have been job cuts in industry at a national level and tech hands are finding it hard to get hired. Engineers are at the receiving end of the trend. But candidates with lesser qualifications enjoy a certain immunity. Since ITIs equip the work force with necessary training and not very promising certificates, they (trainees) are able to survive and in fact find suitable employment at regional level. The number of vacancies for such hands usually exceeds that of the more qualified experts. In J&K, where industry is rather limited to few areas or sectors, the ITIs must restrict and improve their training programmes to these only. This would not only help in finding employment for the skilled trainees at local level but also promote those industries or sectors that directly or indirectly contribute to the state economy.
As has been done else where, there is a need to inspect the institutes, grade them and offer incentives to those who perform well. Incentives should further be provided to those programmes that can help create skilled workforce for the sectors or industries based in the region. Training programmes or trades as they are sometimes called need to be inspected, the instructors and staff need to be evaluated and new programmes that can help the state economy as well as lessen the burden of unemployment need to be devised.
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