Friday, 25 January 2013

India's Vocational Landscape

With an estimated 500 million skilled workers needed to meet Indian growth demands by 2022, the urgent need for appropriately skilled labour becomes more apparent now than ever before. To address this growing need for skilled labour, the Government has established a National Skills Development Council (NSDC), which works with both Sector Skills Councils as well as NGOs working in the vocational development space, with Pratham being one of its partners.

Though there has been increased focus and growth in the vocational training landscape of India, with various organizations having become involved with this mission of increasing the employability of India’s youth, the key issues faced still remain the same - mobilization of students & recognition by industries of qualifications gained through vocational courses. With many of these youth coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, it is often unfeasible for them to afford vocational skilling courses. In addition to this, with a variety of institutions providing vocational training courses, problems of credibility and recognition of the same also arise. Therefore, students are unwilling to spend their limited savings towards courses that may not help them in securing a job. It is therefore important to create standardized content, and subsequently a standardized certification that is recognised by industries, thereby helping youth gain sustainable employment.

The service industry also has a key role to play in achieving this goal. They have to recognise the certified talent available in the market. The students need the assurance that once he or she is trained and certified, they will be absorbed by the industry. The industry therefore needs to create a commonly acceptable certification framework where they incentivise candidates who get recruited through this route. This would motivate students to invest in such skilling and certification programs that would eventually lead to a healthy supply of certified talent for the industry.

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