Drawing attention towards the gap in vocational and university education, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor has said the quality and employability of majority of Indian graduates is questionable.
"At present, frankly, the quality and employability of the vast majority of our graduates are both, questionable," Tharoor said during his address at the launch of IT-ITeS industry body NASSCOM's occupational analysis report.
The minister further said: "I have spoken to CEOs, who feel that once you get beyond the top institutions, the graduates they hire from the rest need a year's training and I don't mean on-job training, which any big company would do. But, actual education to make up for the deficiencies." Tharoor said that it is a very crucial period for India and reports like that by NASSCOM shows that companies target entry level jobs amongst others.
"I think institutions must make note of the findings and impart training so that graduates are ready to be absorbed into the industry workforce without additional time consuming and expenses training," he added.
The view is to focus on developing ready-to-deploy talent with the standards of skill requirement for IT-BPM industry. These requirements entail defining consistent standards of performance and quality and stabilising recruitment procedures, Tharoor said.
Targeting this gap, AICTE chairman S S Mantha said the government is setting up community colleges across the country to provide vocational education in a quasi-university environment.
"The government is setting up 120 community colleges by next year, of which 70 would be on lines of polytechnic and 50 would impart education related to Arts, Science and commerce," Mantha said.
These colleges will impart vocational education to the youth to prepare them for the job requirement demanded by the industries, he added.
"We want to see people coming out of their colleges, "We want to see people coming out of their colleges, ready to be employed," Tharoor said adding as Indian economy diversifies and matures, one will see large scale sectoral shifts in working populations.
The HRD ministry has set a target of skilling 500 million people by 2022. To achieve this target the government and the private sector is collaborating at various level, he added.
"India will have the youngest workforce in the world between 19-35 years in the years to come. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) predicts that India will have 116 million working people at the starting working age of 20-22 years, while China will have about 94 million," he said.
According to the National Skills Mission, 150 million professionals would need to be skilled by various Sector Skills Councils by 2022 to make them employable. While, Indian IT BPM Industry currently employs about 3 million people directly and about 9 million indirectly, it has the potential to provide 30 million employment opportunities by 2020, NASSCOM President Som Mittal said.
"Training individuals on courses that are well aligned to industry standards can lead upto 50-60 per cent increase in employability," he added. The objective is to standardise and streamline the process, both for hiring as well as training and to facilitate the job readiness scenario, Mittal said.