Vocational, or skills-based, education is becoming significant in today’s perspective as the industry expects all its new employees to have necessary skills at the workplace, says Angela Paljor.
Nearly 95 per cent of India’s labor doesn’t possess formal vocational skills and the skills gaps in Indian organizations are the highest globally compared to the UK, US and South Africa, says the recent The City and Guilds Group’s Skills Confidence report 2016. To address the gap and unemployable situation and ensure that the students have adequate knowledge required for various industries, the University Grants Commission launched Central Sponsored Scheme of Vocationalization of Secondary and Higher Secondary education in 2013.
This scheme launched BVoc programmes under the National Skills Qualifications Framework( NSQF) which are approved for 127 universities and colleges to impart knowledge and skills for employment and entrepreneurship to graduates of higher education system.
Need : The main aim of BVoc is to offer thoughtful combination of professional skills to make students industry ready. Second, to enhance employability of the graduates and meet industry requirements by integrating NSQF within the undergraduate level of higher education. Third, to meet the workforce needs at National and global level.
Scope : Though the vocational courses are demand driven, those who enrolls in any of the courses have a lot of scope in the industry. “The future of one being in a vocational training is very positive. There are two-fold opportunities— with the start of Make in India, Startup India, initiatives taken by the Government there will be a lot of latent demand and the skilled force availability will be so huge that there will be a global latent demand to get this talent exported to various countries. It will be a very futuristic, highly potential as far as the person who is trained on vocational education securing his future from a livelihood perspective,” Sameer Joshi, CEO and director of Kohinoor Technical Institute (KTI), says.
Students can go beyond the conventional Arts, Commerce and Science courses and try skill based education. It is an effort towards raising employability of graduates and meeting the requirements of the growing industries.
“The India Labour Report states that by 2022 India is going to be the globally youngest nation, by that time around 626 million people will contribute as the working force, so with this kind of skilled penetration and quantum that is coming out as a skilled work force compared to the demographics of India, is a challenge to tap the skilled aspect of this labour force. The vocational courses for value creating learning and development are the need of the hour to upscale today’s workforce,” Joshi says.
Apart from skill development, a lot of emphasis is now given to specialisation in different vocational programmes. Thus it gives India the possibility to not only supply its own demand in the market but also cover the global demand. This increase in employment will definitely boost the GDP. The programmes will focus on providing skill-development training in renewable energy management, retail management, food processing, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, green house technology, business process outsourcing and jewellery designing.
Programme Structure : The BVoc courses give multiple options and flexibility to the students to pursue their choice of studies which is a combination of practical and theory. The duration of courses have been kept three years and six semesters. Each semester is divided into 15 weeks including assessment. It is mandatory for the students to undergo industrial training or project work for four to eight weeks every semester. All students are required to undergo bridge course programme of 180 hours in each semester for the first two semesters along with level V regular courses.
Various institutes have varied approach. For instance, TISS School of Vocational Training has Earn and Learn model under which students work along with learning a specific vocation. “The model is work-integrated training. We have around 600 students in LAVA manufacturing company and will get a BVoc degree in electronics mobile manufacturing. They work for six days a week and attend classes either before or after the shift and the company pay them a stipend as unskilled labour. Once they complete a year, they are paid higher. This helps them pay the fees and it doesn’t become a burden on the families,” Prof Neela Dabir, dean of TISS, School of Vocational Education, says.
Eligibility : The eligibility is Class XII pass with 50 per cent marks. The age limit has been kept between 16 years to 45 years thus giving a chance to discover the various courses being offered. Due to the multiple exit option, the certification levels include a diploma after completing a year in any BVoc course, an advanced diploma for a two-year course and BVoc degree after completion of three years.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.