Context

Standing Committee on Labour under the chairmanship of Krit Soumiya had submitted its Report on the “Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Skill Development Initiative Scheme”

Vocational training

Vocational Education can be defined as the education that is based on occupation and employment. Vocational Education is also known as career and technical education (CTE) or technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Vocational Training in India

  • The Indian education system recognizes the role of education and particularly Vocational Education. Vocational training in India is provided on a full-time as well as part-time basis.
  • Full-time programs are generally offered through Industrial training institutes (ITI). The nodal agency for granting the recognition to the I.T.I. is NCVT, which is under the Ministry of Labour, Govt. of India.
  • Part-time programs are offered through state technical education boards or universities who also offer full-time courses.

Brief History of Vocational Education and training

1945: Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGE&T), was set up for re-settling demobilized defence service personnel and discharged war workers in civilian life after World War II

1950: Under the Craftsmen Training Scheme, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) were established

1964: vocationalise secondary education recommended by Kothari committee

1986: The National Policy on Education provided for Vocational Education in the Higher Secondary Stage.

2013: National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme (STAR)

2015: Skill India Mission

2015: The part of DGE&T dealing with Craftsman Training Scheme (CTS) and Apprenticeship Training Scheme (ATS) was transferred to the newly created Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and is now known as Directorate General of Training.

Skill India mission

Skill India is a campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 July 2015 which aim to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022. It includes various initiatives of the government like

  • National Skill Development Mission
  • National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
  • Skill Loan scheme

Need for focus on vocational training

  • Demographic Dividend: India has 65% of its youth in the working age group. Efficient utilization of these population would promote saving and investment rate
  • Meet employer need of skills: The latest India skill Report indicates that only about 47% coming out of educational institutions are employable.
  • Prepare workers for a decent livelihood: this improves India’s ranking in HDI
  • Boost to Small Medium Enterprises
  • World class productivity and quality
  • For Make in India – It give big opportunity for MNCs to come to India
  • Export of skilled workforce to aging developing countries
    • The study titled ‘Global Talent Crunch’ highlighted that India would have a talent surplus of around 245.3 million workers by 2030 at a time when the Asia-Pacific region itself would face a talent deficit of 47 million workers.

Issues with Vocational training

  1. There is lack of coordination between MSDE and MHRD. In India vocational training is under MSDE while vocational education is under MHRD. The different institutions impact the whole process of vocational education and training
  2. Absence of a sound National Vocational Education and Training (VET) System and standard
  3. Irrelevance of courses leading to a mismatch between the labour market needs and the training skills.

4. Absence of an integrated in-plant Apprenticeship Training

5. There is a high drop-out rate at Secondary level. Vocational Education is presently offered at Grade 11, 12th

6. Private and Industry Participation is lacking.

7. Less number of Vocational Institutes in the country

8. Inadequate financing of VET system

9. Shortage of qualified trainers

10. Issues with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

  • In absence of formal vocational training institutions many people do not get an opportunity to get skilled formally, but they acquire competencies while engaged as informal apprentices.
  • However NSDC started RPL under STAR and PMKVY but they did not follow the essence and spirit of RPL. The concept was misused for inflating numbers by certifying existing employed contractual workers after giving 2-3 hours training.

11. Absence of ownership of National Standards: Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is the nodal Ministry for Skill Development. However, in addition to MSDE, there are 17 other Ministries/Departments which are doing vocational training.

12. In India vocational training is always about entry level jobs and never counted as aspirational

13. Most of the it is are running only engineering courses while 60% of the GDP is contributed by the services sector

14. Lack of social acceptability

Sharda Prasad Committee

The Sharada Prasad Committee constituted by the Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry to review, rationalise and optimise the functioning of sector skill councils (SSCs)

Key findings

Vocationalization of Education in schools: Unlike other countries, Vocational Education and Vocational Training are treated separately in India despite, Kothari Commission recommendation of 50% enrollment in higher secondary stage to the vocational stream.

Recommendation: The Government should promote setting up of required number of Vocational Education and Training colleges on the pattern of Engineering and Medical colleges.

Absence of Regulator:

  • Private training partners have mushroomed at the rate of five a day. The lack of a regulator for skill development, with teeth, has led to poor quality affiliation, assessment and certification.
  • Recommendation: NCVT should be used as a kernel to constitute the Regulator. To have a mandatory rating system for the ITIs that is published periodically. A ranking of the ITIs on several parameters such as the one done by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council in tertiary education can be replicated.

Absence of comprehensive legislation:

  • The absence of a law has further weakened regulation and monitoring.
  • Recommendation: Two existing Acts i.e. Apprentices Act, 1961 and The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959 should be repealed and a new Vocational Education and Training Act (VETA) should be enacted.

Lack of counseling, guidance and Employment Services:

  • India has failed to develop the culture of sensitizing children from nursery to college level about job opportunities, career options and self-employment opportunities.
  • Recommendations: All the employment exchanges in the country should be modernized, converted into state of the art Counselling, Guidance and Employment Facilitation Centers armed with modern technological tools to counsel, guide and provide employment services to the youth

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour

Parliamentary Standing committee under the chairmanship of Krit Somaiya has submitted its report on ‘Industrial Training Institutes and Skill Development Initiative Scheme’

Key findings

Accreditation Process:

  • The Somaiya Committee noted that QCI did not follow accreditation norms created by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT). Committee found that focus was on providing certificate to large number of people rather focusing on standard
  • Recommendation: In this context, the Committee recommended that appropriate action be straight away decided by the DGT against the QCI.

Pendency of applications and complaints:

  • The Committee noted that the QCI has not processed the cases of accreditation on a timely basis.
  • Recommendation: Apart from examining the complaint cases, a compulsory review of all cases which QCI had forwarded for accreditation must be concluded.

Non-compliance of norms:

  • The Standard Training Assessment and Reward scheme spent ₹850 crore in 2013-14 with no norms for quality.
  • Recommendation: To give Craftsmen Training Scheme legal teeth to strengthen its regulation and monitoring powers.

Employment Prospects after training

  • The Committee observed that in 400 government ITIs (as of 2015-16), 64% trainees have found either wage employment or self-employment. The corresponding figure for 100 private ITIs is 53%.
  • Recommendation: To make arrangements for regular campus placement (Rojgar Melas), and special recruitment drives in the ITIs which could be in contact with the various employer associations/industry representatives.

Underutilized capacity

  • The Committee highlighted that the total trainee count in the ITIs is 19.4 lakh as against the seating capacity of 21.9 lakh, i.e. about 88% utilization of available seats.
  • Recommendation: There should be a mechanism to assess the popularity of courses and divert resources towards them rather than keeping the capacity idle.

Participation of State Governments

  • State government response towards vocational training is lukewarm. Although ITI’s were formed under the government’s Craftsman Training Scheme, their day-to-day administration, finances and admissions are with State governments.
  • Recommendation: Concerted effort should be made to obtain plans from the states for proper release of funds to expedite fund utilization under the scheme

Fourth Industrial Revolution and Vocational Training

  • Low-skilled and repetitive jobs are bound to be eliminated by robots and artificial intelligence under the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This scenario is forcing technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions to evolve continuously and sustainably to remain relevant in the future.
  • Government should focus on education in areas like computers, data, artificial intelligence and designed thinking to enable consistent training for the workforce.
  • 4th Industrial Revolution demands vocational training should include skills such as critical thinking, creativity, adaptability, willingness to take risks and all attributes associated with entrepreneurship.

Way Ahead

  • Government should incorporate the recommendation of Sharda Prasad committee and Parliamentary Standing committee
  • Adequate infrastructure should be provided in schools, and schools also should be properly equipped for teaching and learning.
  • Adequate enlightenment campaigns should be carried out in order to educate the society about the importance of technical and vocational education.
  • There should be industrial participation in vocational schools and also there should be an arrangement for students to visit the industrial areas.
  • Contemporary instructional materials should be provided. Vocational subjects should be taught by using up-to-date modules.
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