“Most big companies have reduced training for fresh graduates to just six weeks”

Come July, many engineering graduates, recruited by major software companies, will head to Bangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, or various locations in the city for a training process which will make them ‘industry ready.'

Over 15,000 graduates across Tamil Nadu have already received their joining letters with training dates and many others would soon receive them, say NASSCOM officials. But the duration and the skills they would acquire remain uncertain for, according to industry sources, expenditure on training fresh graduates is decreasing.

“Most big companies have reduced their training for graduates to just six weeks,” says K. Purushottaman, regional director, NASSCOM. TCS, Infosys, Wipro are among the few firms that have their own inbuilt training houses, while most others outsource their training.

A survey done by NASSCOM three years ago had indicated that only 20-30 per cent of the students who graduate from engineering colleges are industry-ready. Around Rs 3,000 crore was spent on training alone till last year, says Mr. Purushottaman. But the focus now, says Ajith Subramanian, an HR consultant , has shifted to data mining, procuring the best projects and upgrading the skills of the existing employees. “Most firms are witnessing heavy attrition every year. Companies have realised that training senior employees who are more likely to stay and be more productive is a better option.”

Many of the big and mid-sized software firms have started outsourcing their training process to training firms. “Most prefer training bigger batches of students, and want their infrastructure to be utilised for better productivity,” says Mukul Singh, Corporate Knowledge Solutions. Programmes and internships conducted by IT companies for college students have reduced the need for prolonged training, say experts.

Things are changing in the industry too. ‘Bench' no longer exists in most companies, and the employers make sure to recruit only as much as necessary, says Mr. Subramanian. And companies would rather have training firms conduct the filtering process, he adds. Besides investing on the lodging facilities for the employees, space, infrastructure and additional software licenses, companies need to have a team constantly researching to improve content and quality of their training programmes. “Training expenditure for companies comes down by almost 25-40 per cent when outsourced,” he adds.

Training has become a technology-intensive process with specialised E-learning services and training of onsite employees through Skype becoming common, says Dinesh Jagannathan, managing director, Greens Technology that trains employees from around 75 software firms on database technologies. “Companies need people in different domains. It is difficult to have such a diversified training process, so firms are letting institutes with specialised training procedures do the job,” he adds.

Also, the development part of training that involves about a week-long project of understanding client requirements has become very important of late. “The professional training centres have a network of varied clients and professionals making it easy for employees to get projects from different companies to work on. This is often not possible in in-house training,” says Mr Singh.

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Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012