HE DIRECTORATE General of Training (DGT) under the Union Skills Ministry has got three states and industry groups on board to replicate the famed German dual vocational education and training system (Dual VET).
Under the initiative, theoretical training in Industrial Training Institutes will be combined with practical training in the industry to increase the employability of ITI trainees.
To start with, the project has been launched in three clusters — the automotive component in Aurangabad, electronics in Bengaluru and energy efficient construction in Bhiwadi — under a collaborative effort between the DGT, the departments handling training and entrepreneurship under state governments, and industry associations, to promote cooperative vocational education and training.
For scaling up the initiative, ITIs are required to enter into a pact with industries. Till the end of December 2017, 16 MoUs had been signed in Odisha, Jharkhand and Rajasthan and another 20 MoUs are in pipeline, a government official said.
The move to replicate the German skilling model is being seen as an attempt to salvage the floundering skills effort. A bigger role by large companies such as Bharat Forge and Hero Motocorp is being seen as crucial in this attempt, since small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may not have the capacity to take the lead and establish “lighthouse projects”.
Apart from improving the employability of ITI trainees, the initiative is expected enhance availability of trained manpower for the industry and aid in projecting future trends in employee requirements. Various industry associations have also been mandated to conduct an outreach plan to tap SMEs in their respective clusters for participating in the initiative as well as support training through industry exposure to both trainers and trainees.
Under the German Dual VET system, after students complete their mandatory years of schooling, usually around the age of 18, they can apply to a private company for a two or three-year training contract. If accepted, the companies sign contracts with applicants under private law and train them in line with the binding provisions of the vocational training directives, which guarantee a national standard.
The government supplements the trainees’ on-the-job learning with more broad-based education in their field of choice at a publicly funded vocational school. Usually, trainees spend three to four days at work and one to two in the classroom. They come out with practical and technical skills to compete in a global market, along with a good perspective of their profession. They also receive a state certificate for passing company exams, designed and administered by industry groups — a credential that allows transfer to similarly oriented businesses should the training company not retain them beyond the initial contract.
The move to leverage the German system comes at a time when the government’s flagship skilling scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), is been seen as struggling to achieve end-results, with only a small proportion of those undergoing training finally receiving placement offers.
Since the scheme was proving to be ineffective, the Skill Development Ministry had, late last year, planned to shift focus to district-level model to yield better results in the short-term for its skilling initiative.
Till the last fiscal, it was not mandatory for training providers to report employment data under the scheme. Under the relaunched PMKVY, which started October 2, 2016, with an outlay of Rs 12,000 crore to impart skilling to one crore people over four years (2016-2020), placement tracking has been made mandatory.
The low placement numbers have led to realisation within the government that the PMKVY scheme is struggling because of lack of quality training and information asymmetry regarding the demand-supply dynamics of labour.