Santosh Dumade has several jobs waiting for him when he completes his diploma in electrical maintenance this year. The state topper from the Mulund Industrial Training Institute (ITI) is already doing an apprenticeship in Crompton Greaves and will soon be absorbed by them.
ITIs impart vocational skills to students and create skilled manpower and take in students who have passed Class 8.
While vocational courses are usually perceived as an option for poor scorers because of their low cut-offs, Dumade opted for it despite a decent 67% in his HSC exam. “I opted for an ITI because it would help me get a decent job immediately after my two-year course. Even before my course is over, I have jobs offers. Simultaneously I am doing a BA via distance education so I will soon be a graduate with a vocational qualification and that will enhance my job prospects,” said the 20-year-old Thane resident. “This is a far better career option than a plain BA.” Dumade’s starting salary will be Rs8,000 a month.
With cut-offs in the 90s, there is a large number of Class 10 and 12 students who won’t make it to the mainstream colleges. The state offers vocational courses to such students as skilled manpower is the need of the hour.
The central government has made skill development its primary mission. It aims to create skilled manpower to the tune of 500 million people in India by 2022. The state, too, is working towards this and setting up a separate vocational education university for students. The university will be modelled on the vocational universities in Germany and Japan and offer degrees and even PhDs in vocational streams. Currently, students have three major vocational options in the state: ITIs, diplomas at polytechnics and SSC vocational courses, popularly called as Minimum Competency Vocational Courses (MCVC).