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Status of Vocational Education in India

One Nation One Standard’  should become the mantra to ensure that national standards and quality for skilling are globally aligned and youth can aspire to secure local, national and international job opportunities. Quality of training can be measured by competency outcomes and employability trainees. The following parameters have been identified for improving quality:

Quality assurance framework embedded in NSQF

  • Market relevant training programmes
  • Recognition of prior learning
  • Curriculum alignment
  • National Certification Framework
  • Employability Skills
  • Placements

A Quality Assurance (QA) framework embedded in NSQF is finalized to build trust and confidence in the system by putting in place mechanisms that ensure the qualifications (and related training) produce consistent quality outcomes and are relevant to the labour market. It ensures that training providers have the capacity to deliver training that meets quality requirements. The QA framework improves the consistency of outcomes linked to certification and consequently improves the delivery training that meets quality requirements. The QA frameworks improve the consistency of outcomes linked to certification and consequently assessment and certification systems in the country. It will also promote the use of ‘Skill India’ logo by certifying bodies (those conforming to QA framework) on their Certificates which ensure national and international recognition of outcomes certified.

All formal and vocational education including skill training to align themselves with NSQF . It is a nationally integrated education and competency based skill framework that provide for multiple pathways, horizontal as well as vertical, within vocational education, vocational training, general education and technical education, thus linking one level of learning to another higher level. This facilitate both horizontal and vertical mobility with formal education on outcome based equivalence linked to a uniform credit framework. A legal framework to support NSQF is put in place.

The QA framework for certification and assessment set minimum standards and provide guidance for effective, valid, reliable, fair and transparent assessment within the context of the NSQF.

Assessment of Competencies

Competency assessment means making a decision whether the person being assessed is ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’. If they are not yet competent they may require additional time for practice or study to meet the necessary standards.

Many different methods can be used to assess competency standards. These include :

Written or oral question to test knowledge

  • Direct observation of the candidate
  • Providing test projects
  • Role plays and case studies
  • Problem solving
  • Critical incident reporting
  • Reviewing portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.
  • Other ways. As an example if the competency related to welding plumbing components the assessment would involve testing the components welded by the candidate to ensure they worked to industry standards.

A range of assessment methods should be chosen to ensure that all competency

elements can be practically demonstrated. Methods must include the assessment of knowledge as well as assessment of practical skills. As far as possible, competencies should be demonstrated within a fully-equipped operational work environment using industry-current equipment, real materials, industry-realistic activities and typical workplace time constraints.

A range of assessment methods should be chosen to ensure that all competency elements can be practically demonstrated. Methods must include the assessment of knowledge as well as assessment of practical skills. As far as possible, competencies should be demonstrated within a fully-equipped operational work environment using industry-current equipment, real materials, industry-realistic activities and typical workplace time constraints.  

Shortage of Skill in Various Sectors

The projected growth rates in industry and services sectors are expected to generate 60 million job opportunities during 2006-12 and 156 million during 2006-16.

  • Semi-skilled and skilled labour- The shortage of factory workers and construction labours is already being felt across industries.
  • Engineering Industry-is growing at a fast pace will be major requirement of skilled and talented manpower in this sector.
  • Food Industry-is fast expanding, need professionals, food scientists and technicians in great number.
  • Food Processing Sector-65 %short fall of refrigeration mechanics, electrician’s etc.70 % short fall of food safety personal.
  • IT Sector- shortage of 5 lakhs engineers.
  • Education Sector-faculty shortage of 25 -40 %.
  • Automobile – employment expected to increase to 25 million by 2015 -16 from current 10.5 million, majority in the shop floor of auto manufacturing.

India’s Tremendous Potential – Demographic Dividend

  • Working age population to compare over 63 % of the aggregate by 2016.
  • India only large economy with declining age dependency ratio till 2030.
  • India’s total population in year 2004, 1,080 million, (672 million people in the age-group15-64 years “working age population”).
  • A third of India’s population below 15 years of age and 20 % of the population in the 15 -24 age-group.
  • Projection indicate the emergence of a young Indian will 800 million in the productive age-group by 2015, the comparable No.of China is 600 million.
  • In 2020, the average Indian will be only 29 year old compared with the average age of 37 years in China and the US, 45 in West Europe and 48 in Japan.

The Challenge Are Immense And In Order To Achieve the Goal There Has To Be

Substantial expansion of quality technical/vocational education and training for raising employability and productivity. The skills provided have to be attuned to-

  • New business requirements.
  • Improving quality of of education and training at all levels particularly at ITI level and,
  • Make technical/vocational education system more flexible and inclusive for sustainable growth.

Reasons to join ITI

  1. The main aim of ITI is to provide employment to weaker sections of the society. Most of the skill training programmes are too costly to afford and lengthy in terms of duration besides requiring higher educational qualifications. Easing these conditions, ITI is basically designed to offer skills to those who cannot afford expensive training.
  2.  It caters the need of those who didn’t get a chance for higher education. That is the reason that the minimum educational qualification for admissions in ITIs is matric, high school or intermediate. It is also a suitable alternative for those, who are inclined to technical education or who wanted to earn at an early age.
  3.  ITI is one of the vocational training institutes in India whose NCVT certificate is recognized throughout world as it is certified by ILO (International Labour Organization). So the workers can apply anywhere globally on the basis of this certificate. In India , government is its being contemplated to make mandatory for industries to employ only the ITI certified workers. This will increase the employment chances to a larger extent.
  4. Schemes like PPP(Public Private Partnership), World Bank and Domestic Funding are aimed to improve the infrastructure and standard of organizations and institutes. The same is being applied in some of the ITI’s where one of the trade is taken as CoE (Centre of Excellence) with state of the art facilities. The students are exposed to related latest machinery and softwares which help them gain quality education. The selection of trades in CoE is done according to the local requirement of the region that increases the employment possibilities in the local or adjoining regions. This is mainly helpful for girls as they are reluctant to move to far away places for a job.
  5. The ITIs arrange for the campus interviews of students from different streams. Barring a few students, most of them get selected by the companies.
  6.  The syllabus of different trades in ITI is designed keeping in mind the needs of different industries. The students are given accurate and detailed knowledge of the trades where they learn to operate machines, maintain the machines and rectify their defects. The stress is given on the practical training instead of theoretical study. It helps students to grasp the knowledge easily and imbibe it in a more clear way for longer period of time.
  7. Even the timings for study are of eight hours per day in accordance with the factory rules. This way the industries don’t have to waste their time and money in training workers. The advantage of this work-based policy is that after completing the training, the students easily get absorbed in the factory atmosphere and are more productive.
  8. Every batch consists of 16 to 21 students only, thus, guarantee the students to receive full attention during training.
  9.  The students have a broad field of trades to choose from depending upon their interest. At present, there are approximately 300 trades being run by ITls for technical and non-technical sectors and the number of trades is continuously increasing with time.
  10.  One more reason that makes ITI successful is that the medium of teaching is optional and the student could take the exam in either English or Hindi. As English is not our mother tongue, many people face difficulty in expressing themselves in this language. Thus, the language barrier doesn’t impede the growth of students in ITI’s. What matters here the most is the skill of the person.

Aspects of employment 

There are a wide variety of jobs available for ITI certificate holders.

  1. Worker in industries and enterprises: There is immense requirement for skilled and semi- skilled workers in industries. Especially there are more chances for carpenter, sawyer, upholster, machinist, fitter, crane operator, mechanic, welder, turner, plumber, electrician, tool &die maker, mason, draftsman, maintenance mechanics (dairy, textile machinery etc.), patternmaker, mechanic (Tractor, Earthmover Machinery, motor vehicle), etc. who can join industries and workshops as workers. Various government and non-governmental vacancies are advertised in newspapers from time to time. The main job providers are Railways, Army, Police, Para-Military Forces and other departments. The salary of different workers in government sector lies in pay band-1 with the difference of only the grade pay. Usually skilled labour gets a salary according to pay band-1 (Rs 5200-20,200; grade pay-Rs 1900) and semi- skilled staff are paid a grade pay of Rs 1800. In battalion, head constable (motor mechanic etc.) receives a grade pay of Rs.2400 and constable (driver, mechanic etc.) has a grade pay of Rs.2000 in the same pay band-1. In private industries, the workers get salary according to company’s level and its policies.
  2. Office work: Jobs can also be found in various agencies, government departments, research organizations etc. as stenographer, computer operator [Trade: Stenography (Hindi/English), COPA (Computer Operator and Programming Assistant), company secretariat etc.], where grade pay upto Rs.2400 can be received. These are jobs involving general office works like typing, shorthand etc.
  3. Teaching: Instructors are the vital organ for any organization. It is difficult to imagine schools, educational institutions, without teachers/trainers/faculty/instructors. After completing basic course of ITI training, the person can go for advance training courses (CTS/POT), which is prerequisite for becoming instructor in Government institutions. The pay band for instructors is (9300-29,000) with grade pay 4200. Now a days, under the policy of increasing the number of ITIs’ private sector is being encouraged to open private ITIs / ITCs (Industrial Training Centre). That is again creating jobs for instructors. In private ITIs’, a person get some consolidated amount according to the skill and demand.
  4. Self-employment: If one is not interested in doing a job he/she can opt for self employment. Students of “Cutting & Sewing” trade can open tailor shop on small level and can even start their own production house on larger level. Students from “Hair and Skin care” trade can open their beauty parlors. Electricians, plumbers can start their repairing workshops. Motor mechanics can open their garages. Carpenters, fitters, can start their own shops or can work on daily wages. Almost all the banks have certain schemes for providing loans to such needy persons at low interest rates. Some of the suitable trades are baker & confectioner, fruit & vegetable processor, leather crafts trades (leather goods maker, footwear maker), photographer, health & slimming assistant, textile trades (weaver, knitter, printing knitter), hair dresser, dress designing, health & slimming assistant, desktop publishing operator etc. Self employment could fetch good income based on individual skills. These trades and people associated with them are gaining more importance and due recognition with time. Even the foreign countries are looking towards India for their requirement of skilled manpower.