The fourth episode of the NSN Connect 2022 series broadly focused on ITIs and Technical education in India.
NSN Connect 2022 on Re-igniting the skilling landscape in India is an initiative by Team NSN to learn about these areas. The esteemed guest of the eight-episode series is Mr. Rajesh A R, CEO, LabourNet who is a thought leader and domain expert who will share his experience and expertise on various aspects that are crucial to re-ignite the skilling landscape in India.
Here is the excerpt from the fourth episode. To watch the full episode, please visit our YouTube channel.
ITIs – image, branding and perceptions
The initial things that come to mind when asked about ITIs are that they are male-dominated, are of technical aspects or are of factory set-up. When the industry has evolved over the last 20-30 years, the positioning of ITIs has looked at whether there are service-oriented trades that attract people. But now, it has gone down to the target audience to look at it even for those trades.
ITIs require to change the name to skill development centre as skills are wider. If we look at it, the government has made the changes of merging NCVET to NSDA and now going to implement NEP too. So, there are a lot of things that bring the element from name changes that appeal to audiences like employers or industry or candidates.
Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS)
CTS has to be made in line with what the youth aspiration is. Let us look at the terms of making a brand relevant to the target audience. Who the target audience is the key question. There are two perspectives to it.
- Students in terms of the core of primary target audience. When a student can enroll into a technical training institute from the 8th,10th or 12th standard, vocationalization of school education will bring in the element of a student to know about various vocational programmes. With the right assessment or guidance, he/she can also figure out his/her aspiration.
- If a student dropped out of the 10th standard, he/she has an element of going into an alternative vocational education or continuing schooling.
How do we execute the student council? To ensure school education, capacity building should be aligned to know more about vocational education. There are still a lot of teachers who may not know the career options in vocational education, the only move for them is either government jobs or any such streams.
Awareness about technical courses from ITIs
There are two views on why parents are reluctant to join their kids in vocational education:
- In terms of parents, when the child passes out of 12th standard, he/she should join a degree but the awareness of making skills aspirational is not given. We need to create awareness that he/she can also take a 6-month or a 12-month programme and start earning better.
- Vocational education is important even for the students who could not clear the 10th or 12th exams.
We need to look at it from two different perspectives which are career progression and awareness.
Awareness in two different things like from parent-teacher association in schools and creating awareness about the benefits of vocational education in schools.
Industry bias towards ITI students
The industry is looking at the biases such as:
- Regional bias, where the skill development centre or ITI is located
- What kind of people do they churn out, it can be gender bias too.
- Social bias, more from the region, caste kind of socio-economic background
For example, an HR manager of an ITI said that they can’t recruit a candidate passed out in 2020 as a full-time employee but as an intern instead. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ITI system is crippled by the perception of a lack of infrastructure. The batch of 2020 pass-outs should be given more training where apprenticeship comes in. Once the industry accepts them as skilled person, they can be appointed as a full-time employee by giving a higher salary.
Also Read: Re-igniting the Skilling Landscape in India – Episode 3 – world of work and the gig economy. https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/nsn-connect-2022-re-igniting-the-skilling-landscape-in-india-episode-3/
Career councelling and student support
There is no silver bullet that can solve the problems. There are going to be multiple interventions like
- Structural transformation – To bring in the benefits of the ITI system structurally with the government bringing in vocationalization of school education and by bringing vocational teachers on roles.
- Frictional transformation – to ensure the admissions of candidates by the end of July or admission month by creating awareness about the benefits.
There is huge pressure on mobilization to get the students into the ITI system. There are also a few states which are giving incentives to women in certain trades to ensure they come into the ITI system.