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Home / Education / Bridging the skill gap through effective vocational training

Bridging the skill gap through effective vocational training

At present, nearly 80 per cent of new entrants to the country’s workforce get little or no opportunity for skills education. Merely 2.5% of our workforce is exposed to formal vocational training.

education Updated: Oct 30, 2019 13:38 IST
Dr Narendra Shyamsukha
Dr Narendra Shyamsukha
New Delhi
(HT File)

Let us start with harsh realities- the rate of employability in India has noted a sharp decline in the past few years. Gone are the days when India was considered rich in talent- apt skilling is something that the youth are lacking. Naturally, it shows- reports say that 95% Indian technical/ non-technical graduates are unemployable, giving rise to what people coin as an “Industry- institute gap”. At present, nearly 80 per cent of new entrants to the country’s workforce get little or no opportunity for skills education. Merely 2.5% of our workforce is exposed to formal vocational training.

Challenges of skill gap

The evolution of talent acquisition is something that the leading institution and educational bodies should take note. The focus has shifted to experiential knowledge as major organizations are dawning to the importance of acquiring the brightest talent. A strong hike in market profitability is linked to having the right kind talent to understand the pulse of the market and channelize that insight into elevating organizational value in the right direction.

Despite this, the rise of the skill gap is alarming- desired skills are greatly lacking amongst today’s youth. To cope up to the uncertainties of the market, one needs to have the ability to think on his feet. A prepared individual can cope up with its variances and still emerge with zeal to learn and contribute greatly to the growth of the market. Unfortunately, the sluggish educational system, paired with the directionless intent of students, makes it difficult for this gap to be bridged. The key here is to integrate vocational skilling, into the educational framework, emboldening the learning experience of students. For a densely populated like India, skilling is the golden wand that can elevate the living standards and transform the nation into the leading skilling hub.

Importance of Vocational Training Institutes

Yet, there needs to be a direction as only industry-relevant education and skill-based training can augment the portfolio, where vocational training institutes plays a big role. A host of industries require such training- retail, tourism, cosmetology, or traditional crafts, cottage industry and many more. Enrolling in a vocational training institute or hands-on skill training course can be of great help to candidates looking out for employment opportunities.

These training institutes aids student’s in master in soft skills, from expanding their business vocabulary and increasing their speaking skills, to writing customized e-mails for clients, and preparing interesting PowerPoint presentations etc, to increase the individual market value of the students. Students can also leverage the network of employers and colleges these instates have, to maintain coordination with industry.

Finally, the accreditations and certifications gained through the tenure can add value to job seekers.

government and private entities must work together

At present, the requirement for the proper administration of vocational education by various states government and better co-ordination between different state departments and agencies, is rising as industries clamour about to find relevant talent . While there is a place for promises, what the Indian educational scenario needs is an actionable approach.

Of late, courses in computer programming and electronics have started as part of governments’ skill development programs and yet, they lack the fire. These verticals need to be systematized and accelerated, via the help of private entities. While several government agencies and private institutes have engaged in a tryst to impart skill education in India, here is little coordination between them, making the path precarious. Yet, hope is there as several companies are partnering with various state and Central government departments in offering skill-building programs for the country’s potential workforce in diverse sectors including agriculture, IT-ITES, retail, telecom, banking, accounting, finance etc. With such institutions, the draught of employability can be replenished as India powers ahead to edge over other nations, in terms of skilled man force.

(The author is Founder & Chairman, ICA Edu Skills)