India’s education system has for long been dedicated to churning out fresh batches of bright, educated youths but with ‘Zero’ skill that in no way make them employable in the modern, skill oriented highly demanding job markets.
No skills for job roles
More recently, the refrain among employers in both the technical and non-technical sectors of the economy has been- absence of skilled workforce to adapt to new and more challenging job roles. “About 90% of employment opportunities require vocational skills, but 90% of schools and colleges deliver only bookish knowledge,” an eminent opinion leader was recently quoted as saying.
Education & Skill Development
With the launch of initiatives like ‘Digital India’ focus has now shifted to clubbing formal education with imparting vocational training skills to meet the ever rising demand for skilled technical and non-technical workforce in the country. But unlike in developed countries or some of the emerging economies like China and Argentina, India has to go a long way before it can make skill development an integral part of its education system and business and industrial eco-systems.
Training in skills
Way back in 2009, conglomerate of powerful G20 members countries including India, had strongly advocated the need for urgent steps to upgrade the skills of existing workforce and impart job ready skills training to fresh, educated workforce to meet the varied demands of business, trade and industrial sectors.
The G20 countries comprising finance ministers and central bank governors from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Italy, Russia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the UK, the US, South Africa in a paper ‘A G20 Training Strategy’ ‘ A skilled workforce for strong, sustainable and balanced growth’ has underlined the challenges before them: “A major challenge in all G20 countries is simultaneously to enhance the responsiveness of education and training systems to these changes in skill requirements and to improve access to training and skills development.” “…it is no longer sufficient to train workers to meet their specific current needs; we should ensure access to training programs that support lifelong skills development and focus on future market needs,” the G20 leaders further emphasized.
A win-win situation!
The importance of vocational training has been acknowledged by both the developed and developing countries like India, since. The need for investing in vocational training thus assumes significance. This is because the immediate beneficiaries of such training are today’s youth, the enterprises, and countries. This also ensures a constant availability of skilled workforce, a must for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
Link skill development to education
The objective should be to connect basic education to technical training, technical training to labour market entry and the labour market entry to workplace and a system of regular training to upgrade skills and learn new skills. Employers-trainers regular interaction has been underlined to ensure that training is in tune with aspirations of workers and businesses. At the policy level, G20 members countries, also favour a synergy between skill development policies and other policies related to labour market, social protection, industrial, investment, trade, technology, etc.
The right mix!
The market pundits have always insisted on a right mix of education and vocational skills in a person to make him or her more employable in the global market. Skill development thus forms an important part of vocational training. India’s National Skills Development Policy seeks to equip the workforce of today and tomorrow with necessary and improved skills, globally recognized qualifications to make them employable by established players in the industry.
Vocational training capacity
As India’s economy and global influence grows as an economic superpower, it will further integrate with the international market. There will be increasing need for a trained workforce to drive that growth process. Getting the necessary and job-ready skills and investing in vocational training will only ensure that there is no deviation from the growth trajectory. Therefore, higher the level of skills more will be the job opportunities. The need of the hour is to increase India’s vocational training capacity.