In India, every year thousands of graduates are produced and most of them do not have the specific skills required by the market. If this trend continues for a long time, our economic growth would soon be hampered. To prevent this situation, it is very important for us to change our mindset first. In India, people are obsessed with just achieving a graduation degree without thinking about the nation’s long-term growth and development. This has led to a situation where, on the one hand, there are a number of unemployed graduates and on the other hand, there is a huge shortage of skilled workers in the market.
In the previous times, vocational courses were thought to be meant for the people who were lacking aptitude to study in a college and thus, needed skills in a particular field, to gain employment. This scenario, however, does not exist anymore in today’s world. In the recent years, people have realized the importance of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and are opting for such courses to enrich their skills related to a particular sphere to face career challenges easily.
Vocational Education and Training is an important aspect of the nation’s educational system. It offers specialized and practical knowledge to an individual in a particular field by having an in-depth study of the specific subject. It also helps one in preparing to get the desired job for a successful career.
Vocational education basically comprises of practical courses through which one attains skills and experience directly linked to a career in future. Vocational training offers the student a fast-track education which gives way to job opportunities and growth in the existing workplace. Thus the student gets a job faster and becomes capable of becoming a responsible citizen of the society instead of an unproductive burden.
The aim of vocational education is to equip students with all the practical knowledge and social skills necessary for them to take on a productive role in the economy, by training for a specific career or business. It is also an essential tool to educate the employees for better performance and to earn profitable outcomes.
Who can opt for vocational courses?
There is no age boundary in acquiring this type of knowledge. In India, vocational training is open to students, who leave school after 10th or 12th standards. After completing the school, choosing a career-specific training would be a better idea than just simply going for a regular four-year degree program.
Vocational Training V/S College Degree
VET is very different from the traditional way of learning as it does not follow the simple teaching format. In traditional courses, wide array of courses are taught and most of which are not directly related to the goal of the individual.
Students are realizing that their regular college education does not equip them with the adequate communication and practical knowledge which is essential to perform well in their professions. The current education system focuses more on providing theoretical knowledge, which is not enough for the young student to start his/her career and succeed in it. Even after a three year graduation, the youth often has to spend considerable amount of time in hunting for jobs, which becomes very frustrating. Just earning degrees does not make one educated. Rather, the person must have an in-depth knowledge of the concerned subject which is easily possible through vocational education.
The Basics of Vocational Education Training
- Vocational training in India is provided on a full time as well as part time basis.
- India is a pioneer in vocational training in Film & Television, and Information Technology.
- Often the curriculum for the courses is prepared after taking suggestions from the local employers.
- These type of courses are mostly certified or diploma courses.
- Vocational education training institutes impart graduation and post graduation courses to students.
- The best part of these institutes is that even working people can join the course, and even select the timings as per their convenience and nature of job.
- Financial aid is also often provided to students who are economically weak.
- According to the NSDC (National Skills Development Commission) report India will need 83 million skilled workers across different industry verticals by 2015. Unfortunately with our current training capacity India will produce only 3 million!!
- In India, vocational education is imparted through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics.
- The skill shortage in the Indian economy today is largely due to neglect of vocational education
Methods of teaching in vocational courses
Along with classroom instructions, practical knowledge is also imparted through field work. This prepares the student for the job at hand and thus, he is able to give full justice to his profession, due to his vast knowledge. Vocational schools give plenty of hands-on training, so that the individual already gets some experience of his/her future profession. The students have a real life and practical industry experience. They are also often provided with internships along with stipend for their internships. This gives them the motivation to perform better and excel in their jobs.
Benefits of Vocational training
- Enhances skills and knowledge – vocational education provides job specific skills and contributes to career success. It imparts specialized knowledge, which is the need of the hour today!
- Promotes entrepreneurship – In certain cases, the completion of this sort of course provides the learner with a license to allow them to start working immediately. The individual is also equipped enough to start his own business.
- Offers a wide range of options – It prepares the youth for a vocation of their own choice and interest by providing a diverse range of subjects.
- Builds up a formidable work force of international quality, which would be in demand not only in India but also in all other countries. In India, only IT training is world class. In the manufacturing and service sector, there is worldwide shortage.
- Demand for skilled men – A recent study by global HR consultancy Manpower Inc says that 41 per cent of employers worldwide are having difficulty filling positions due to lack of suitable talent in their markets. We need millions of trained people in agriculture, floriculture, horticulture, sericulture, fishery, healthcare, tourism and in other manufacturing sectors.
- Easy employment – It is often seen that employers prefer to hire a student who has done a vocational course rather than a college pass out, as by doing a vocational course, a student is trained specifically for a particular job. Thus, the student gets a job faster, is able to support & provide for his family and self, becoming a responsible citizen of the society instead of an unproductive burden.
- A way to earn early – With the changing face of technology, the world requires an individual to be specialized in a particular skill. Only a person who is expert in a particular field can get a good job. Vocational education training helps them to become independent at a particular age. After completing a vocational course, the student already possesses the right temperament, skills, qualities and education for the job.
- Helps to develop the economy – Vocational Training provides an instrument for the promotion of worker employability through the enhancement of human capital and for productivity improvement and competitiveness at the level of the firm or nation. Manpower shortages can cripple economic growth. It can escalate wage rates, thereby reducing the competitiveness of the country.
- Reduces unemployment by supplying world-class skilled people. Vocational courses increase the number of small businesses, which further increase employment, thus reducing the stress on the government to provide jobs for the unemployed.
- Serves as an alternative to those who cannot afford to take a three-year break to pursue a college degree. The time duration for a vocational course is less and the skills which are imparted to the students are highly adequate.
- Lesser education costs – It is the most effective way to gain the right career resources in exchange of minimum amount which costs much less than the regular forms of learning in colleges. Many vocational courses provide placement to the students. This makes it quite useful for those who do not have the means to shell out money for a college degree.
- Flexible form of learning – They are often provided by various community colleges with proper learning infrastructure. Some organizations also use online education system to help students learn at their own convenience. It is suitable for working people also as they can select the timings as per their convenience and nature of job. The vocational institutes allow the students to study online and attend either evening or morning classes.
- Financial aids are also readily available from various public and private sectors for these types of courses. Government funding is also offered to students of vocational training in certain countries
- Contributes to national development – Enhancing the employability of a student is extremely important since it will not only help in youth empowerment, but also contributes to national development.
- More practical-oriented – Vocational courses offer the students not just classroom learning but also hands-on practical training in various aspects like customer relationship, people management, personality development etc. are in top demand now.
- Offers a wide range of job opportunities – Retail, Hospitality & BFSI are the fastest growing sectors and would need 20 million skilled candidates by 2015. Specialized sectors like Auto and Hair & Beauty are projected to need 5 million resources while the Construction sector alone will require over 15 million skilled workers.
- Helps in promoting education – There is a high dropout rate at Secondary level. Comparing India to countries with similar income levels – India does not under perform in primary education but has a comparative deficit in secondary education. This can be prevented by introducing flexible and cheaper ways of vocational training.
- The faculty is highly experienced – A separate degree called Bachelor in Vocational Education (B.V.Ed) or B.Ed with specialization in vocational education is proposed to be introduced.
Vocational training and Courses
Due to rapid development in science, technology and business practices, one has many options to choose from, such as:
- Art and design: Computer animation, computer aided design, video game design and web design
- Automotive Courses: Aviation technology, diesel mechanic and marine mechanic
- Business: Administrative assistance, accounting, bookkeeping and E-business
- Healthcare: Massage therapy, dietitian and nutritionist
Role of the Government
According to a National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) report two types of vocational trainings are available in India:
a) Formal - Formal vocational training follows a structured training program and leads to certificates, diplomas or degrees, recognized by State/Central Government, Public Sector and other reputed concerns.
b) Non-formal – Non-formal vocational training helps in acquiring some marketable expertise, which enables a person to carry out her/his ancestral trade or occupation.
The Government is well aware of the important role of Vocational education and has already taken a number of important initiatives in this area. Government funding is also offered to students of vocational training in certain countries.
Choosing a Suitable Vocational Training Institution
One can choose from both online and campus options for vocational training. Before opting for a vocational course, a student should ensure that the institute in which he/she is applying is a reputed one, both in terms of the quality of the education provided and placements in the past. For this purpose, the person can research on the internet and also talk to friends who have done such courses. The institute should have accreditation that is recognized by the industry. This will ensure that the course is reliable. Only when these things are settled, a student should invest his time and money in a particular course. It would also be more beneficial if the institute is a government recognized one.
Vocational Training and Education (VET) is a sure way to add a new dimension to the career for a successful future. These courses enhance the employability of a student and are vital as they not only help in youth empowerment, but also contribute to national development. Today, it has become important for employees in every sector
Vocational courses must be seen as a necessary addition to the regular school or graduate education, since the college education will only provide knowledge enhancement while the vocational courses gives training to get a job and start a successful career. Vocational courses can also be incorporated in regular college environment, wherein the students will have easier access to the skills, training and can complete the course easily along with his graduation. Vocational education is also as good as college education!
Vocational training can be considered as a launch pad for a career that can lead to participants becoming masters in their field. Vocational training is a must and should be compulsory as it provides the learner with practical knowledge of the theoretical concepts learned in school. Vocational training should be considered as a stepping stone to success. This type of knowledge is surely going to be an enabler to help India shine in the future years.