For a student to remain employable after the completion of a degree program, he/she must have the right knowledge and skills required by the industry. Keeping this in mind, the B.Voc. degree programs are designed with multiple entry and exit points while teaching adequate theory and practical required for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. In this Skill Talk, Gurpreet Kaur, Director, Academic Matters, Apparel Training and Design Centre (ATDC) talks about B.Voc. courses from ATDC, industry-integrated and work-integrated learning, and the career paths for students in the apparel and fashion industry.
Q: Please tell us more about the two B.Voc courses offered by ATDC?
A: ATDC has been a pioneer in offering the B.Voc. degree program. B.Voc. degree gives students the requisite knowledge and skills required by a professional in the apparel and fashion industry. We started offering B.Voc. degree in 2015, after being approved by AICTE as skill knowledge provider. Thereafter, we tied up with Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD). These kinds of collaborations helped us in offering the B.Voc. degree.
We have 2000 hours of skill component which is domain-based and about 1000 hours of general component that the candidate would require once he/she joins the industry. This brings in the perfect combination of 70% practical and 30% theory.
We offer two streams of B.Voc. One is B.Voc. in Fashion Design and Retail and the other is B.Voc. in Apparel Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship. Traditionally, most of the courses were related to fashion design. In recent times, there has been a surge in e-commerce and online shopping and we have seen that industries wanted graduate candidates who could join e-commerce. These candidates are required to have knowledge about the apparel industry as well as retail. That is why we added the retail components along with fashion designing.
In Apparel Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship, we give them entrepreneurial skills along with domain knowledge. This also supports the Prime Minister’s vision of Make in India.
Q: How is the response for the B.Voc. courses offered at ATDC?
A: The response has been overwhelming from the day we started the B.Voc. program. We have seen a continuous increase in enrolments. So far, we have over 1200 enrolments in the last four years in the B.Voc. program.
It is the success of one student that draws many students. The kind of industry internship that ATDC has, draws many students towards it. The industry internship, the kind of jobs we are making it available for the students on completion of the course, are the major reasons we are able to attract students towards the B.Voc. program at ATDC.
However, the program also needs to be given an impetus through social media or through local promotional activities. ATDC organises a fashion show for the final year students. In the last two years, we have held three fashion shows with Times Group in Bangalore, Mumbai, and New Delhi. They were big crowd pullers and promotions given by the Times Group attracted masses to see the extraordinary work done by our students.
Besides the fashion show, we are also doing social media campaigns. We have also tied up with portals like College Dekho, Siksha, etc. to provide more information about the B.Voc. courses.
What we understand from students is that the generic degrees that students aspire for, do not make them employable. To be employable after a generic degree, students will have to pursue a diploma course or an advanced diploma.
Whereas, the B.Voc. the degree was conceived by UGC to offer generic degree along with adding a skill component to it. This helps the students to be employable after completion of the three-year program. We have had students successfully graduate with B.Voc. degrees at ATDC. It was a great sense of pride for us, during the B.Voc. convocation of our previous batches, as the students received their certificates from the Chairman of AICTE himself.
Related Article: How B.Voc is making work-integrated skilling aspirational in the Apparel industry – Read More: https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/how-b-voc-is-making-work-integrated-skilling-aspirational-in-the-apparel-industry/
Q: How does the curriculum integrate with industry needs and ensure the students get appropriate work experience while they learn?
A: When it comes to the industry-integrated curriculum, the curriculum at ATDC is based on NSQF levels 5, 6, and 7. The curriculum is standardised and prepared by the industry. The best part of the B.Voc. program is that a candidate has to either visit the industry in the first two semesters or do an internship every semester with the industry.
Once the student completes the internship and comes back, there is a lot of clarity in his or her mind about how the industry works. Internship improves the way they question and understand. Overall an internship makes a lot of improvement in a student’s life. Small modules are added to the curriculum so that they become industry-ready.
Usually, a stipend is given to the students who are in their final year. ATDC also provides merit-based scholarships to the deserving candidates. We also have many companies in the apparel coming together in supporting B.Voc. students.
Q: What is your advice to students you wish to pursue a career in fashion design and technology through a vocational degree.
A: As most of us aware, fashion is a very live and happening subject and attracts many students. It is evolving every time. Anybody who is creative and likes to create can pursue a career in fashion design. Apparel Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship gives a good opportunity for students not only in India but in other countries too. Many of our students have been placed by our placement cell in Oman, Jordon, etc.
B.Voc. addresses student’s progression too. For example, if a student completes a diploma and wants to acquire a managerial position after a few years, then he/she would require a degree. They would require a degree even if they want to pursue an MBA. Therefore, pursuing a B.Voc. degree in fashion design gives good opportunities for the students along with offering good career progression.