Skill development has acquired a priority status in the agenda for enhancing the employability of youth in India. To achieve our goals in making students meet the requirements of the industry, we need to have several innovative programs that bring academia and industry closer. We are well-aware that conventionally, our education system has mainly focused on imparting theoretical knowledge,without much focus on application of such knowledge in the workplace. To bridge the knowledge and skill gap and cater to the demand of the industry, work-integrated learning is being adopted and promoted across many countries.
In this guest article, Mr. Anand B., Vice President, NTTF talks about the need for close collaboration with the industry to implement dual model programs.
Why dual-model programs are essential to enhance employability
Issues related to employability cannot be addressed till we solicit industry support and collaboration with the academic and technical training institutions. One of the most popular programs offered through active partnership is through “learn and earn” approach following a dual model of education. Dual model of learning prepares the students with necessary knowledge and skills to meet the job requirements in a particular industry. Since the students are trained as per job-roles of their choice while they are in high school or college, they are prepared to make a smooth transition to the workplace.
Though we’ve been offering a few courses in India, based on this model, considering the dire need for a skilled workforce, we need to design and develop new courses that are compliant with NSQF levels for job roles in different industries. Industries which provide training not only save on recruitment costs but also avoid the risk of hiring the wrong employee for the job. The main benefit for the youth is that they receive market relevant training that improves their chances on the labour market which is constantly changing day by day.
Supply and demand issues
In many countries where industry has been working closely with the academic institutions, for instance, in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, South Korea and others, we have seen how the dual model of learning has benefited the economy and society at large. Based on the success of such models, in India we’ve adapted the best practices and created programs that address the demand of various industry verticals. Otherwise, the Indian education system is mainly focused on ‘supplying’ the potential workforce without any strategic alignment with the demand-side, that’s characterized by the needs of the industry in terms of right knowledge and skills.
It is also pertinent that the aspiration of the parents for their children’s career should have a paradigm shift of conventional education to the dual education way, so that more youth would get employable skills while pursuing their formal education. The best model is that along with learning, there should be a monetary benefit like monthly stipend, to the youth which especially helps in a big way for the economically poor students who are pursuing the dual education programs.
Also read: Learn and Earn: An innovative program by NTTF for skill development of youth https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/learn-and-earn-an-innovative-program-by-nttf-for-skill-development/
One of the ways for the industry to come forward and take up the responsibility of supporting the preparation of youth, is to collaborate with the academic and technical training institutions for robust curriculum development. Active participation from industry experts will not only help in understanding the dynamics of the industry but also update the curriculum as per the latest developments.
Besides, the teachers and trainers need exposure and experience in the industry to deliver the curriculum effectively. This is possible only when there is continuous engagement between the industry experts, teachers and trainers through mutually beneficial initiatives.
Implementing practical training
The success of skill-based and technical training programs is highly dependent on the quality of practical training. Since vocational training is outcome based and it has to match the latest requirements of any job role, the tools and equipment used for practical sessions must comply with industry standards. The role of training institutions is very crucial to deliver the skill-based practical training and also to monitor the progress of the trainees all through the programs.
The challenge here is the tapping and nurturing the hidden talent and skill from every trainee. When the industry takes up a bigger role in supporting the academic and technical institutions, there is huge scope to enhance the quality and comply with international standards. While this could be a great way to contribute to the manufacturing industry, the challenges of practical training in the services sector too can be addressed efficiently through proactive industry engagement.
Dual model systems impart high quality vocational training and education, through which the trainees are well prepared to enter the job market at a young age, and the firms that participate in their training are more willing to hire them when they graduate. India should encourage such innovative approaches for the sustained development of skilled manpower and also for the faster growth of the country.