Vocational Education: An Update For Our Education System

Vocational courses allow students on-site training which helps them develop a specific skill.

In December 2019, when the pandemic took over, it resulted in shutting down of schools; e-learning has been incorporated in place of physical classes and steps are being taken to minimise the education loss. Not to anyone’s surprise, the current ‘e-capability’ in our country, are not apt to make e-learning the new norm. Here, vocational courses may just seize the opportunity. To increase employment and have skilled labour, people are required to learn and develop a particular skill. Vocational training gives a slightly better chance to the learner as it solely focuses on the development of a specific skill or a set of interconnected skills. 

Vocational courses allow students on-site training which helps them develop a specific skill. It can be compared to the internship portion that traditional courses have in their course structure to help student develop practical skill the fundamental difference being that almost the entire course is based on learning the practical application. Due to the on-site training, a vocational course student has far more experience than any other traditional course students upon the completion of the course. In metro cities, the trend has seen a growth in terms of its adoption whereas , in Tier 2-3 locations, traditional courses like BBA, MBA, etc are still the favourite as per report by Admission24. 

In the current scenario, from an employers perspective, only about 18% of students undergoing vocational education get jobs out of which only a mere 7% were formal jobs (TeamLease services research). Around 70% of employers think that the training provided by vocational courses is not up to the mark. Along with that, 72% of employers stated that employability is considerably low for any vocational course. Apart from the employers, 42% of the students think of vocational courses the way. This study was carried out in Mumbai.   

The primary reason for low stats of vocational courses is that the employers doubt the creditability of these courses and don’t place them above or even on par with traditional courses. Another reason for this is the lack of awareness about these courses. In India, vocational courses don’t have any defined outcome or structured learning procedure which results in making them practically ineffective. These courses, although aimed to develop specific skills, don’t yet offer a wide ambit of such skills (versatility). With time, they are to incorporate specific sector skills and contemporary skills. 

As recently as last year, vocational courses solely focused on specific trade skills like welding, automobile mechanic, technician etc. However, according to AICTE (All India council for technical education), as the labour market is set to become more and more specialised in the coming years, economies will need a higher level of skills. Governments and businesses are quite rapidly investing in vocational education with the help of publicly funded training organisation and subsidised apprenticeship or traineeship initiatives for businesses.   

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), people will be required to adapt to several new skills at the workplace. Students who get to undergo vocational training for the same will be at a great advantage. Vocational education institutes need to be equipped with the right facilities to make way for these advancements and keep a consistent growth from thereon. Industry and government professionals getting involved with these courses would make them more appealing and in-turn fruit-bearing. Having said all this, the future of vocational training is pretty bright provided, institutes are really concerned about educating the youth and a maximum number of students know about this opportunity from non-metro cities. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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