Despite the government spending more than Rs. 30,000 crores towards skill training, vocational skilling and education in India, it is still plagued by low esteem and demand supply mismatch states, TeamLease Signalling Value of Skill Education and Hands on-job Report.
According to the report, only 2% of the workforce has opted for formal skill training making it one of the least preferred streams of education. The report attributes the low penetration of vocational learning to the lack of appreciation for hands on training, limited upward mobility, weak labour market linkages and strong perception of labour as inferior which commands mere subsistent wages.
Further as per the report, apart from social standing, the current vocational education system has not been able to impress the employers either. Employers viewed vocational educated candidates to be marginally better than the untrained.
In fact, most corporates were skeptical about the quality of training and hence provided the recruits with in-house training. They were also wary of trained candidates quitting organisations within a short period of time.
Cultural bias and demand-supply mismatch characterise the Education-Employment paradox in the Skills Education and Hands-on Jobs market. There is an acute need to recognise that hands-on jobs are an imperative and short-term skills education is a pragmatic route to creating and fulfilling on jobs at scale.
With changing times, the caste system is all but defunct, especially as far as passing on traditional vocation to the younger generations is concerned. Therefore upward mobility is a distinct possibility for hitherto oppressed castes. However, the upper caste candidates are still holding on to religious biases and are not willing to take on hands-on jobs.
Candidate aspirations are disconnected from reality and academic education and white-collar jobs are what the young still dream about. However, hands-on jobs are seeing a big spurt in income levels and Ecommerce is single-handedly proving to be a transformational tool in this regard.
The Indian society has deep-rooted bias against hands-on jobs and believes that such jobs are meant for the underprivileged. A general disregard for labour and cultural bias also negatively influences work ethics, contributes to adversely colouring the perceptions about hands-on jobs and skills education.
Rising income levels have defied societal convention, thanks to the skewed demand supply dynamic. With hands-on jobs fetching better salaries than conventional engineering jobs, societal inequity may be ending and the negative perception may alter substantially over the next few years.
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With regards to the choice of hands-on jobs parental influence is found to be the major factor influencing candidate choice followed by mentors, siblings, friends and role models – in that order. Candidates perceive societal attitudes to change for the better, once they start earning.
Out of the six dimensions that make up for the framework of signalling value of vocational education, Specialization, Certification, Reputation of the Institute and Course Term (short) have the greatest impact on signalling of skills education.
Elaborating on the findings in the report, Neeti Sharma, Senior Vice President, TeamLease Services was quoted by India Infoline, “The skill education system in India is in shambles. It is perceived as a low value qualification by both the society and the employer. It’s course correction calls for a two pronged strategy. It necessitates building of institutions of better repute with better employer linkages and also adopting a strong advocacy initiative which can communicate the improved value as well as credence to all the stakeholders.”
“In countries like Austria and Germany more than 40% of the workforce comes through the vocational skilling route. But in India it is perceived as something that is for other’s children calling for a change in mindset both at the student as well as the industry level. In fact, to take advantage of the opportunities the country presents all stake holders would need to be fully aligned to the vocational skilling route,” added Vikrant Pande, Vice Chancellor, TeamLease Skills University.
A detailed analysis of the various factors governing vocational education, the report finds that career decisions are still guided by non- professionals. As per the study an overwhelming 76% of respondents depended on parents to help them choose their careers, whereas only 53% of the candidates relied on teachers and career advisors.
Another startling revelation was the growing expectation mismatch between the candidates and the employer. While corporates are struggling to fill their blue collar/skilled profiles, talent regardless of gender aspires to secure an administrative job. Desk jobs are ranked right at the top by talent.
TeamLease Signalling Value of skill education and hands on-job Report is a comprehensive study that delves into the ‘Signalling Value’ of skills education, mapping candidate aspirations and occupational options and modelling their decisions related to choice of jobs, career advancements and migrations.
The current edition deals with the perceptions candidates and their influence networks hold about skills education and hands-on jobs. The survey was administered on 200 respondents across the key cities in India.
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News credit: India Infoline