Aspiring Minds (now known as SHL), in association with Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, recently organized a webinar on the topic “Apprenticeship as an opportunity to increase workplace readiness”. An extensive study of candidate assessments and surveys was also undertaken for the government of Haryana the objective of which was to understand the impact of the apprenticeship training program to help improve the employability of ITI candidates in the state.
The collaborators wanted to understand the key areas of improvement of such initiatives through quantitative research on the job readiness of candidates before and after the program.
The webinar session was moderated by Prachi Windlass, Director of India Programs from Dell Foundation who said, “Creating pathways out of poverty for our youth is a top priority for us, and we know how important it is to identify high-impact skilling interventions to ensure candidates are employable”.
There was a 25-35% improvement in candidate performance in the English language, analytical ability and computer programming. Workplace behavioural traits of candidates improved on average by 40%. Candidates have improved consistently across gender, establishment type and rural-urban groups in all parameters.
“The research project conducted by Aspiring Minds has helped the Haryana Government get deeper insights into Apprenticeship. It showed that increased supervision, on-the-job mentoring along with peer learning can significantly augment the performance of an apprentice. This further strengthens Haryana Government’s belief and commitment towards providing quality apprenticeship” said Dr. Raja Shekhar Vundru, IAS from Haryana Government. He also added, “These learnings can now be incorporated into the design of the Government’s programs to make apprenticeship even more effective”.
59% of candidates strongly agreed that apprenticeship helped them in getting a job and 90% rated the program as good or very good. More than half the candidates affirmed that they learnt and applied new concepts which were useful for an impactful learning experience.
“The outcomes of this study will be important for future interventions of the governments not just in Haryana but across different states in India. The insights from these assessments helped quantify the impact of apprenticeship programs and which parameters make the most impact. Consequently, such rich data and insights will help design better apprenticeship programs.” said Varun Aggarwal from SHL.
Key recommendations of the report include: providing hands-on tasks to candidates for effective and applied learning, ensuring that the candidates spend regular hours at the workplace, regular supervision and training and regular assessment to measure the performance of candidates and the effectiveness of the program.
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Apprenticeship should be integrated into the mainstream education system. It has to be seen as a career-building programme and not just for learning skills. The programme also needs to have consistent feedback from the supervisor about the improvements in students/trainees. The state of Haryana has taken a lead in making apprenticeship successful for an impactful and high potential skilling.