The low intake is because students do not want to ‘dirty their hands’

Recently Toyota India in Bangalore selected 13 boys from St. Joseph’s Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in Jeppu.

Though there is demand from industry for fitters, machinists, turners, and in mechanics (diesel and motor), in which the ITI provides training, J.B. Souza, Principal, ITC, told The Hindu, “We don’t get sufficient people for all the trades”.

Mr. Souza said there was still a demand for the skills that the ITI provides. Take for instance the job of fitters. From a malfunctioning lift to railway coaches, resolving such problems required fitters. In assembly-line industry, if one machine part has a problem and stops, the entire work comes to a halt and a fitter has to attend to the problem immediately to get the whole assembly running. “Actually, there is scarcity of technicians. That is why people from Bangalore come here,” he said.

Yet, there are few takers for the courses. Currently, there are 90 students. Mr. Souza said the reason for lack of interest was that students did not want to struggle in courses that need working hard. They would rather be in jobs in a plush environment. “A few learn English and join BPOs while a few others join the retail industry (malls). They do not want to dirty their hands,” he said.

The parents also do not want their children to join ITIs. “They have one or two children and do not want them to struggle for a livelihood. When students do join, the teachers have to keep pushing them to study,” he said. In every batch of 15 to 20 students, five drop out of the course to join white-collar jobs. Everyone wanted to study electronics, which would fetch them jobs in Bangalore, he said.

The ITC started in 1997 and till 2008, it would get 150 applications for 15 to 16 seats. Today, there are hardly any applications. “But there is no demand. We have to market,” he said. Industry has good potential for ITI students, especially fitters and motor mechanics. Students from the St. Joseph’s ITC have joined Volvo, Toyota, Arvind Motors, Eicher Motors, Mahindra and Tata, Mandovi and Bajaj, some of which have approached the centre to hire students.

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