As India’s economy grows, there is an urgent need to produce technicians of international standard to meet industry’s rising demand for skilled manpower. However, the vocational education stream in India is quite small, enrolling less than 3 percent of students at the upper secondary level. Analysis also shows that the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system is not responding to the needs of the labor market. Less than 40 percent of its graduates find employment. Industry’s limited involvement in the management of vocational training is a key constraint to matching skills between demand and supply. Public training institutions also need to be given incentives to improve their performance.
The Government of India recognizes the need to increase access to and improve the quality of vocational education and training in the country. It also recognizes that the current system needs to be reformed and updated. In order to improve the ‘school to work’ transition, therefore, a National Mission for Skills is being set up to create a larger skilled workforce. The government has also announced a centrally-sponsored program to upgrade all Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), with a view to produce technicians of international standard. This is envisaged with strong private sector participation.
World Bank Support
Before the vocational education and training stream is expanded, key constraints that hinder the employment potential of its graduates need to be addressed. In 2006, therefore, the Government of India and the World Bank conducted an analysis to identify constraints to improving the quality of vocational training in the country. In compiling this analysis, the Bank drew on its extensive international experience in this area.
Based on this analysis, the government initiated the Vocational Training Improvement Project (VTIP) to improve the employment potential of graduates from the system. This World Bank supported project aims to improve the quality and relevance of vocational education and to make it more demand responsive. The US$ 280 million project aims to support 400 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) across the country to become centers of excellence in selected skill areas that are in demand.
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