India’s first activity-based career guidance kit for vocational careers

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In this guest article, Sanjogita Mishra, Program Manager – Skills, Commonwealth Educational Media Center for Asia (CEMCA) introduces the first ever activity based career guidance kit for vocational careers developed by CEMCA and UNDP. The kit is aimed at youth to explore and discover their true calling; this may positively influence the choice of careers and add aspirational value to vocational jobs. Let’s read more…

More than a decade ago, I was working with a large IT firm and lived in Scottsdale, Arizona. In my rented apartment, once I faced a plumbing problem. Along came this large man in a fancy car wearing a smart looking dungaree with numerous pockets to keep his tools and  walked into my apartment with dignity, fixed the problem in no time and walked out with grace. He probably earned more than I did, as a software engineer. I made some conversation with him and found that he really enjoyed his job and had a liking for plumbing.

career guidance kit for vocational careers3

Unfortunately, in India many jobs are done by many people for earning money, security of lifestyle, mark of status but seldom for the love of the trade. Thus, I believe the happiness index of the working class is low in India. Most jobs are done for the compensation and pay packages. However, the millennials are different. Since they came to a world where their basic requirements of roti, kapada aur makan (food, clothes and shelter) were easily fulfilled they are seeking the love and fulfilment in work. However, they have no exposure to the avenues they have in finding their true calling. Due to the historic roots of Indian society in the caste system, craftsmanship and vocational careers are looked down upon. Hence there is no aspiration built in the minds of the young people to even seek those professions.

It’s time the young people were given an exposure to the possibilities that lay in front of them in the “World of Work” or “Jobs ki duniya”. This is the name of India’s first activity based career guidance and career counselling kit dedicated to vocational careers.

Career guidance kit for vocational careers

The Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) in collaboration with UNDP developed this kit which comprises of the following:

  1. Career Cards: 200 career cards covering 37 Industry sectors, carefully chosen from over 3000 Job Roles defined by Sector Skill Councils formed under the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). To explain a career to a student, number of parameters are highlighted in the cards that would be of interest to a school going child to aspire for a career. These parameters are:
  • Job Role
  • Sector
  • Attributes (Qualities needed to do the job well)
  • Function: Production / Service / Operations
  • NSQF Level
  • Preferred Education (as defined in the QP given by SSC)
  • Physical Fitness: High / Medium / Low
  • People Skills: High / Medium / Low
  • Machine / Tool Skills: High / Medium / Low
  • Entry Level Salary
  • Salary in 5 years
  • Places to Work
  • Aspire to be
  • Job Description

Each career card has a depiction of someone doing this job.

  1. Self-Awareness Cards: 40 Self-awareness cards based on John Holland’s RIASEC Model that help the young adults introspect their personal preferences and understand their occupational personalities
  2. Activity Guide Booklet: 15 games documented in an Activity Guide to be used by facilitator who plays these games with the young adults in groups of 30-40 over 6-8 months

This kit is based on the principles of “Activity Based Learning” and creates a pull from the learner. None of the sessions are to be delivered in a lecture mode and it forces the young adult to engage in self-discovery and analyse their likes dislikes related to occupations. These games have already been field tested and fine-tuned by a group of career counsellors.

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On May 1st and 2nd 2018, the kit was launched in the Career Conclave organized by Delhi government for the students of 10th and 12th standards. The kit has been seeing huge demands from Career Counsellors. The kit can also serve as a mobilization tool with some modifications.

Though it is too early to gauge the impact of the kit in creating awareness and aspiration about careers in vocations among the young adults, from the initial field tests, it seems like a simple innovative way of helping learners do self-discovery and an enquiry into the world of works.

[The author, Ms. Sanjogita Mishra, can be reached at sanjogitam@gmail.com ]

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