In a developing nation like India, a skilled population is one of the most important pillars to deal with any socio and economic challenges. Even in the unprecedented times of the coronavirus pandemic, organisations are looking for those people who exhibit the new-age skills to sail through the economic slowdown.
The demand for new-age skills including machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, digital marketing or cloud computing is high and the vocational institutes are leaving no stone unturned to change their education mandate according to the changing times.
If we look at the scenario of India’s edtech Industry, it’s second-biggest in the world after the US and around 25% of startups funding in India are towards edtech companies in just Q1 FY 20-21. However, we still need some robust steps to strengthening our vocational education ecosystem.
Here are some of the ways through which vocational education can be strengthened:
Identification Of Vocational Education As A Separate Entity
In our country, vocational education is often clubbed with schools, colleges and universities. It needs to be given a distinct identity in addition to importance. The lack of a nodal body to control this vocational education provided by the private players clearly shows the lack of proper communication. This is the best time when any support from the government and a push in vocational education can ensure a highly-skilled India, a step towards self-reliance. The move will also attract a lot of investment. For instance, Industries go to China because they get trained manpower there and it’s easy to set up a company/factory as compared to other countries.
Importance Of Trained Manpower Is The Need
As people have been losing jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, it shows the need for skill training to flourish in the competitive market. Over the past few years, skills (and not academic backup from top colleges or ivy league universities) have always opened doors for many opportunities in our country. With the kind of market we have, everybody has the issue of cash in hand. In our country, the penetration of vocational education is one of the lowest in the world.
The entire community, especially the millennials, need to unlearn and relearn. With a lot of doors being closed, 1000 new opportunities are opening up. What we lack is relevant training and skills to cater to these opportunities For example: during the Covid-19 era, the number of websites created in the last three months is almost equal to the websites created in a year’s time. Offshore accounting has grown three times with businesses abroad looking for cost-effective and efficient teams to do their work and what better place than India, ‘the outsourcing capital of the world’. A lot of new skills and avenues have opened up.
Local Has Become The New Vocal
People have shifted to their own home cities either due to safety reasons or because they ave lost their jobs. Instead of brooding, they need to pull up their socks and upskill according to the demand in their particular city. If you are in Bengaluru, you need to have IT skills but when you are in Gujarat, you need to acquire industry skills to get jobs. People should identify the skills they need and similarly find the best people/company who can provide the best skill training accordingly.
More Push From The Government
In order to bring forth colossal changes, giant steps should be taken, which can only be done by the policymakers in the Parliament and not just one individual. Our government should also focus primarily on vocational education in order to sail through the economic slowdown. Vocational education is the backbone of every developed nation. For example- China has a huge platform for vocational training. They make sure that their training reaches to the last mile of the country so that well-trained people can be placed in a befitting industry.