“Vocational education in India programs have made a real difference in the lives of countless young people nationwide; they build self-confidence and leadership skills by allowing students to utilize their unique gifts and talents.” – Conrad Burns
Vocational Education is a skill based training which is imparted through various courses and classes available in many career fields – health care, computer technology, office management and skilled trades. Vocational Education is offered through public and private education institutions. The duration of the course and classes depends upon the time required to finish the course. Vocational education is training that is provided to the students with skills that would help them in their work. The method used to teach the students is by providing them hands on experience so that they get more practical exposure.
Vocational Education in India is both skill based education or non – skill based. In certain field of work, students need to acquire skills which cannot be acquired through education but they need practical hands-on experience for doing a certain task or duty to achieve his role in a particular job. The centers like Career and Technical Education (CTE) or Vocational Education and Training (VET) directly develop expertise in a group of techniques or technology through manual or practical activities. As per LiveMint’s article – India has 11,964 industrial training institutes, with a seating capacity of 1.69 million. Overall, around 8 million people a year are provided training through various programmes of over 20 government departments.
Vocational Education has been made flexible, relevant, inclusive and creative. The Government understands the importance of vocational education and has been taking initiatives to promote and make it better in this area. As per an article on LiveMint – India has taken a step towards vocational education; the government of India (Labor Ministry) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is setting up the National Board of Vocational Certification where they will be conducting tests and declaring the results also giving certificates which will only be issued only by Labor Ministry. Hence, certificates received by the government will add more value to a student’s resume. This board will be functioning within 6 months of time.
A flowchart showing the Academic, Technical and Vocational parallel training structure/system in India
Source: Skill development in India: The vocational education and training system report no. -22 World Bank
Currently, India needs to focus on vocational education because focus on it now will lead to effective and better future for India’s labor industry. This will help us develop the Indian labor market to become labor intensive and also provide the employee with a certificate which states that the employee has the skills to perform a certain set of duties and tasks.
India has a great opportunity to meet the future demands of the world, India can become a hub for skilled workforce, if the training is provided at the right time and at the right place. Hence we must focus on vocational education.
In India, vocational education is mostly consists of practical oriented courses where a student learns the skills and gains experience which is job linked. This helps the student to be skilled and also create better employment opportunity for themselves. These trainings are in line with conventional courses like B.Sc, M.Sc., etc. Vocational training gives certain amount of experience to the students, and that is something employers are looking for. Even National Skill Development Skill Corporation (NSDC) focuses on skill development through vocational education, they work with different organizations to achieve this goal. They have 160 training partners, 1722 training centers and they have trained around 3,495,856 people.
As per World Bank’s report in 2008 – In India there are 6800 schools, almost all in the public sector, enrolling close to 400,000 students in the vocational education scheme – utilizing just 40 percent of the available student capacity in these institutions. These schools offer a total of over 100 courses in various areas – agriculture, business and commerce, humanities, engineering and technology, home science and health and para medical skills.
In Japan, students are offered technical and vocational education as elective subjects at lower secondary school and upper secondary school. These elective subjects are related to an occupation which they can take up as a vocational employment or for homemaking in future. The subjects offered are agriculture, commerce, fishery, domestic arts, etc. The students learning these subjects spend two or three hours a week to gain knowledge and necessary skills.
We need to focus on vocational education in India because – India is going to be one of the countries which will have the highest “youth” in the coming decade hence the working population is going to be young and dynamic. Also one more reason to focus on vocational education is that there are no proper certificates or formal education in place for manual work or various blue collared roles example in India jobs like mechanic, plumber, construction worker, maids etc. Hence vocational education helps with getting them certificated reassuring the fact that they know their jobs well.
For example – Global Talent Track (GTT) – is a company believing in empowerment through employability. For the last 2 years, GTT has been training ITI Kerala students in communications skills and industry readiness through virtual conferencing. The trainers are situated in GTT’s head office Pune and students are across various small towns in Kerala. GTT has successfully trained and evaluated more than 3000 students through this model who feel a great value add to their confidence after the training. Recently GTT has been awarded at state and national level for this innovative approach to learning.
If more and more companies and organizations take vocational education as a Corporate Social Responsibility, they can reach to the rural areas and empower them. The companies can work with government organizations under PPP ie Public Private Partnership to educate and promote vocational education in the various parts of India.