Even as the demand for vocational courses at Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) across the state has increased substantially in past few years, there has hardly been any rise in number of students opting for these courses in the Mumbai region, reveals the data from Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET).
According to the data, around 3.2 lakh students across the state applied for 1.3 lakh seats available in ITIs. This is a 15% jump in number of applications compared to last year, when 2.8 lakh students had applied, and a 24% rise from 2013-14, when DVET had received around 2.6 lakh applications.
However, during this period the demand in the Mumbai region, which includes the city and the Konkan region, has remained static. This year, the region saw 42,684 applications for ITIs, a marginal rise from 42,000 applications received last year. The situation was similar three years ago in 2013, when 42,115 students applied.
Within the region, Governmnet ITI Ambernath received the highest number of applications, while the state-run ITIs in Mulund, Agripada and Thane also remain popular.
According to the experts, better awareness of higher education and availability of opportunities in the region have resulted in lower demand for skill-oriented courses. “Students in the area tend to opt for Class 11 and 12 or diploma engineering courses instead of ITIs,” Ashfaq S Pathan, who teaches at Lalji Mehrotra Technical Institute ITI in Jogeshwari.
“In the Konkan region, the overall trend is against pursuing higher education, with many students dropping out to join their ancestral farming and other businesses. However, with lack of such a support system in the hinterland, students join ITIs in droves,” said a DVET official.
While the ITIs across the state offer as many as 70 trades (skill courses), just three streams — electrician, fitter and wireman — account for over half of the applications. Experts said better employment opportunities available for craftsmen with these skills have led to an increase in the applications.
“Almost all industries hire fitter and electricians in large numbers, because they are needed for regular maintenance. On the other hand, they need only a limited number of mechanical draughtsmen and plumbers — courses which saw a lower demand,” said Dattatray Nilankar, principal, Shardashram Vidyamandir ITI, Dadar.