ICA tapping the abundant opportunities in skill education sector
According to a KPMG-FICCI report, over 109 million incremental people will be required in India alone, across 24 key sectors by the year 2022. Yet, only 4.69 per cent of the Indian population has undergone formal skill training. These facts point towards the kind of opportunities that open up in the skill development and training, and vocational training fields.
In an interview with EducationBiz, Dr. Narendra Shyamsukha, FCA, ICA tells us how important it is to implement skill education at school level to bridge the gap between what formal education provides to students and what industry wants and how the ICA is helping with that. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
We are running vocational training centre for the past 17 years and training about 70,000 students and plan to train 1,50,000 students next year. Working in ten sectors apart from our core sector which is BFSI, retail, BPO, hospitality, logistics etc, we operate in 21 states and bring employability to people who were unable to study well in school by training them.
At present, we are having relationship with more than 70,000 employers where our students get placed. I see great future of skill education as formal education is not bringing employability. There is a huge gap between the skill set provided by formal education and what employers want. If you possess what employers want, then you’re considered a good candidate. Though it’s good to have knowledge, we polish the best skills of our students which make them employable.
Bridging the gap between what formal education provides and what employers want
Technology is changing very fast but our Indian educational system is not able to adapt to these changes at a fast pace. Second, the output is not connected with the job. For example, as engineering sector is going down, engineers are not able to find jobs even after investing Rs. 4-5 lakhs and 4 years of their life. We provide our students all such skills which are in demand in the industry.
India’s skill sector lacks branding and social recognition although it has started to improve with the inception of Skill India Mission. One module of 3-6 months in skilling should be made compulsory till class twelfth and graduation. Also education should be focused on employability and not just mere knowledge enhancement tool. All course curriculum should be vetted by the industry. OJT (on job training) or 6 months internship should be a must as a part of training to reduce the gap and our government should promote skill universities. Industry feedback for improvement in employability should be taken half-yearly so as to keep the syllabus updated with the trends in the industry.” This process should be continuous and be held at regular intervals.
Challenges faced by ICA and tackling them
Initially people didn’t believe that such courses are required. We started www.icajobguarantee.com in our country that assures job after passing out. We give job guarantee card to our students passing out which upon presentation would guarantee them jobs with any of the 70,000 companies we have tied up with based on your skill provided they have vacancies. It’s like how an ATM card that helps you withdraw money only if you have money in your account. Similarly, this card assures you a job if you possess skills.
Opinion on franchising
Franchising is a better root for collaboration where franchisor manages some skills and takes some responsibility like branding, tie-ups, building system procedures, TTT etc and franchisee manages local challenges. This route is very effective for expansion as it benefits franchisor, franchisee and customers too.
Collaboration with other institutes
ICA has tie-ups with more than 70,000 employers as we believe that tie-ups with employers are more important than with other academic institutes. However, we are open to help any college or university to make their curriculum employee oriented or to provide employment and benefit of our relationship with employers.
With our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative for Skill India and Make in India, there are plenty of opportunities arising in skill education. Edupreneurs like ICA are taking advantage of it and providing required skills to students for their bright future.