Just 4 lakh graduates opt for training each year as opposed to 10 million in Japan

Despite having nearly 12,000 engineering institutions and polytechnics in the country, just four lakh graduates opt for apprenticeship every year, as opposed to 10 million in Japan.

A seminar ‘Apprenticeship training scheme’ was jointly organised here on Tuesday by the Board of Apprenticeship Training (Southern Region) and Team Lease Services Pvt. Ltd. to discuss ways of enhancing the enrolment for the programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Manish Sabharwal, Chairman of the Board’s Southern Region, said graduate “unemployability” was a bigger problem than graduate unemployment. “Apprenticeship training is an under-sold and under-communicated programme. Instead of the ‘push regime’, the implementation should be shifted to a ‘pull’ regime,” he said.

N. Mohan Das, Director, Technical Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) said even if 10 to 15 per cent engineering and polytechnic graduates are employed, it is a crucial exercise to find sustainable employment for the rest. “The manufacturing and IT sectors are key growth areas. But there is a wide gap between demand and supply, he added.

Bridging the gap

Throwing light on the ongoing schemes to bridge the gap between demand and supply, K.P. Isaac, Member Secretary of the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi, said a syllabus upgrade with an “outcome-based outlook” was being framed.

Mr. Isaac added that the annual funding of the AICTE had doubled to Rs. 400 crore from last year’s Rs. 256 crore to implement the schemes.

However, he refused to comment about the status of the Indian Science Engineering Eligibility Test (ISEET) in the backdrop of the common entrance exam for central engineering colleges . The ‘social stigma’ associated with vocational courses as an alternative to higher education was also deliberated. The National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVQEF) can help do away with the artificial partition, the speakers said.