Indian Public-Private Partnerships to Address Vocational Training Challenges

Dec 13, 2013 by

Indian Public-Private Partnerships to Address Vocational Training Challenges

Business Standard, October 7, 2013

Pune: A new study the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Accenture released today said that private funding and public-private partnerships are helping India overcome two of the largest challenges to vocational education training: an inadequate infrastructure and a shortage of job offers.

The study identifies five steps business and government can take to better support vocational trainees and helps meet India‟s goal of engaging 500 million trained youth by 2022.

Vocational education training (VET) must provide prospective employees with the skills required to support the next generation of economic growth in manufacturing, retail, construction and tourism, according to the study. Addressing the rise in the number of VET trainees who do not accept job offers or leave jobs within one month of employment is critical, the research shows.

“This action plan dovetails with India‟s Five Year Plan targets. By tapping younger candidates for training from rural, low-income locations, empowering them with employable skills and building their careers in important growth sectors such as manufacturing can help India meets its goals of inclusive, accelerated and sustainable growth,” said Nilaya Varma, managing director, Accenture‟s Health & Public Service practice in India.

The Indian government created the NSDC in 2009 to work with private-sector companies and organizations and 17 union ministries to ensure that an additional 500 million people would have the skills necessary to be productively employed by 2022. Under the NSDC network more than 2,500 physical and mobile training stations have been created to date to support VET trainees in 352 districts across the country.

“About to be home to one-fifth of the world’s working-age population, India‟s path to becoming a high performing nation will be shaped by its ability to impart scalable, market-relevant business and vocational skills to its youth. It is encouraging to witness how these schemes are influencing skills development, helping to provide the necessary skills to the next generation of workers,” said Dilip Chenoy, managing director and CEO, NSDC. According to the study, initiatives funded by NSDC and private-sector organization have achieved high placement rates for trainees. About 50% of those who completes training receive job offers within three months.

The study also found that pre-placement support services needs to be improved. For example, about 50% of trainees interviewed said resume writing was very important, but only 21% reported receiving such training.

Action Plan recommendations

  • Attract people from rural, low-income geographically dispersed locations at a young age
  • Develop an alternating training-apprenticeship model; with a special focus on manufacturing
  • Empower trainees with general skills required for employability
  • Collaborate with the government and small businesses to fund and operate apprenticeships
  • Build a career ecosystem of lifelong learning

TCS Insights: Vocational training is a sunrise sector in India. Traditionally, significant amounts of funding have been provided to Government agencies such as the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to private sector players in order to provide skills training. This is combined with financial incentives to the students upon successful course completion.

It is encouraging that the training courses are leading to successful employment opportunities for students.

There are opportunities for Canadian community colleges to work with these private players as service providers. The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service’s education team has a list of approximately 100 private sector companies funded by NSDC which can be approached by Canadian colleges to offer a range of services such as content development, certification, assessment and training of trainers.

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