VOCATIONAL COURSES saw a 7.5 percent rise in demand across the state this year, even as more than 1.17 lakh students were admitted to Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), a report by TeamLease, a human resource consultant, has said. Around 92 per cent seats have been filled in government-run ITIs, as against private ITIs which saw fewer takers with 77.4 per cent seats filled.
While there has been a rise in demand, the degree may not correspond to the requirement for skilled labour force in the country, the report says. Only 2 percent of the labour force is formally trained and 8 percent acquire skills on the job. The demand supply gap is stark with 12.8 million people entering the workforce every year, stated the report.
The report further says that skills education accounts for 4 percent of the overall education industry market size in terms of revenue.
The report blames ‘low-status’ stigma attached to vocational courses for the low enrollment statistics. It says that those with degrees are preferred by industries over those with ITI certificates.
“Students joining ITIs don’t see the benefit of a vocational course in their professions, especially when compared to mainstream degrees such as engineering,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and Executive Vice-President of TeamLease.
Chakraborty said the outdated and archaic curriculum was to blame. “There is a need to overhaul the entire syllabus at ITIs,” she said.
Meanwhile Nitin More, a former ITI student union member, said ITI certificate holders are technically sounder than their engineering counterparts owing to the practical training.
He said ITI certificate courses are a way out for those who want to earn a living even while studying.
The TeamLease report said short-term skill development courses are the way forward — ‘courses that are focused on specific, job-relevant skills and which take between two and six months for a candidate to complete.’