At least 15 new polytechnics will be opened in the State this year as part of the government's measures to augment supply of skilled manpower. It would also strengthen Chennai's position as a hub for automobile industry, said S. Annadurai, Additional Director (Polytechnic), Directorate of Technical Education.

Speaking on the sidelines of a career guidance programme for outgoing students of Class X organised by Science City here on Tuesday, he said, “A large number of students belonging to the weaker sections will be able to take up diploma programmes as the government is providing fee waiver for them.” Last year 90 new polytechnic colleges were opened in the State, he added.

Many national institutions in the city, including the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology are offering specialised academic programmes which support the city's position as an automobile hub. “Plastics are an important component of automobiles and the institute has started many diploma courses apart from cutting edge research programmes in plastics technology,” said P.S.G.Krishnan, Chief Manager (Technical) of CIPET.

“We are organising an ‘open house' from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for students and parents on May 29 on the CIPET premises in Guindy. This will provide details about the Institute, programmes and prospects,” he said.

The industry in southern region is hiring more students and this is being reflected in the large number of students joining apprenticeship training in the region, said G.Sujatha, Deputy Director and Deputy Regional Central Apprenticeship Adviser, Board of Apprenticeship Training (Southern Region).

A total of 29,309 students took part in Apprenticeship Training in companies in 2008-2009 and the number increased in 2009-2010, she added.

“Skilled technicians in the medical field are required in large numbers as the importance of medical tourism is also increasing in Chennai,” said M.Kumaresan, Managing Director of Siva ENT Hospital.