Vocational education is what the education industry needs to churn out job ready professionals from day 1-hour 1.
Having this as their motto the 'TimesPro' has ventured to offer vocational programmes with an objective to train the next generation and help them to emerge as business leaders of the country.
Mr Deepak Lamba heads Times Group's education initiative, TimesPro and ET Edge shares his views on the need of industry training and grooming in an exclusive interview with CareerIndia.
1. How is vocational education training playing a vital role in making students job ready or industry ready?
The textbook or classroom education can only impart limited education. It restricts students from experiencing the challenges that their future job might hold.
Vocation education helps fill that gap by providing students with practical skills and knowledge and prepares them for their professional tenure.
Vocational education leads to positive outcomes by virtue of students already being prepared in certain aspects of the job on day 1-hour 1, leading to better efficiencies for companies, and economic growth for the nation.
2. What is the need of vocational training in today's education system of the country?
Currently, we are facing a widening gap between formal education and the industry requirements. Fresh graduates hired for various job roles face difficulty to match the pace of the demanding corporate life.
They sometimes fail to practice the concepts learnt in college and other times those concepts are hardly relevant to the current job.
At TimesPro, we focus on vocational/professional training modules that fill this vacuum with the aim to enable the youth to gain necessary skills and knowledge.
As a result of the skill based training, TimesPro has successfully placed over 90% of eligible students in reputed banks and corporates across the country.
3. Do you think including vocational training along with the general education will be beneficial?
Most certainly it will. India's corporate culture is constantly evolving and some may say that it's aping the western culture in many ways.
In today's cut throat competition, a mere college degree isn't sufficient to survive in this changing work environment.
While conventional classroom education helps students build a knowledge bank, TimesPro's vocational training programme build a combination of requisite skills and industry knowledge.
4. Give your insights about the education system in India?
Indians have always valued education in their culture and society so much so that to many Indians, the route to "Lakshmi" (goddess of wealth) goes via "Saraswati" (goddess of knowledge).
Unfortunately, the current Indian society equates knowledge with a ‘degree'. And on the other hand we have the corporate sector continuously lamenting about the fact that our ‘degree factories' are in fact not producing quality or employable students.
India can boast of a rich demographic dividend with the world's youngest population but it can be a ticking time bomb for us as a society where even after working hard to obtain a degree, the youth find out that the degree is not enough to get them gainful employment.
Imagine what would go through the mind of such youth hence it is high time that we look at adapting and embracing education that is practical and deployable/usable in the current context.
5. Why are some universities declaring such high cut off percentages? Is it necessary?
In the country like India intelligence is judged purely on marks. The universities filter out the best minds but that is purely based on textual knowledge. They lack practical knowledge.
6. Though there are lakhs of engineers and MBAs passing out each year, the country still has employment issues. Why?
Unemployment endangers the democratic fabric of the country. To some extent, privatization and globalization have aggravated the situation.
But the bigger culprit is the fact that engineers and MBAs don't have any experience in on the job training and they do not possess niche skills required in their specific jobs.
Vocational/ professional courses help students acquire the specific niche skills which will give them an edge in their jobs.
7. Is a vocational course enough to obtain employment? What do other degrees account for?
Vocational education and conventional education should be seen as complementary, not mutually exclusive.
Vocational education provides students with practical skills.
With vocational education qualification, students are more likely to start working sooner, giving they already have the experience they need to back up what they learnt in college.
We at TimesPro understand what skills are in demand and inculcating these skills in students will equip them for their future careers.