Memorandum of understanding signed with SurgeForth Technologies

While enlightenment of the human beings remains the laudable objective of education, the bottom line of every educator and the educated is employment.

Even as thousands pass out of the portals of educational institutions, the question upper most in the minds of both the institutions as well as the graduates, irrespective of the discipline, is whether they are employable.

To address this issue, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Southern Region has launched a major initiative ‘Employability Bridge.'

H.R. Srinivasan, Convenor, Education Panel, CII, says that on an average 3.5 million graduates come out of about 21,000 colleges in the country per annum.

“Are they employable? Unfortunately, their readiness is fairly low.”

His organisation did make a study.

While 90 per cent of the industries want candidates with some level of skill, nine per cent want some knowledge.

Only one per cent wants both skill and knowledge.

“But barely 25 per cent from Tier II and III towns meet the eligibility criteria whereas the rest are nowhere in the reckoning in terms of skill or knowledge”.

A MoU for starting ‘Employability Bridge' in association with SurgeForth Technologies was signed in Chennai on January 18.

Ambalavanan Ramachandran, Director, SurgeForth Technologies, says Employability Bridge (EB) (www.employabilitybridge.com) brings the enterprises, academic institutions and students into one single platform so that they could collaborate with each other for mutual benefit.

Industry-academic collaboration

It could act as industry-academic collaboration platform for employability enhancement of the students and exposing students' strength to employers which will help right students get right jobs.

Explaining the salient features of the EB, he says this is an online portal that will help academic institutions, students and enterprises to collaborate. It will provide industry-driven employability skills training comprising classroom sessions, e-learning, self-assessment, internship and project opportunities.

It will also extend employability skills assessment and certification, placement aggregation services for enterprises and institutions, placement management and campus recruitment management.

According to him, by utilising the EB, both the academic institutions and students would be able to get increased placements, monitor entire placement activities, provide student e-profile to the enterprises, and enhance employability aspect as per industry needs. Besides, it could provide greater industry exposure for students, get them placed in participating enterprises, and get employability skills certification.

The enterprises could also benefit because they could use this portal to hire from a large pool of validated\employable students. This would help them hire quickly and cost effectively the right and fit candidates.

Lesser time to hire

It would take lesser time to hire, reduce cost for learning and development activities, reduce time to bill for the campus hire and identify suitable students for internship positions and project requirements.

Mr. Ramachandran asserts that employers expect analytical skills, communication capacity, and attitude.

Versatility

For small units, “versatility is the key aspect” and “basic knowledge of the particular industry is a must.”

Mr. Srinivasan says that during 2011, this initiative is expected to benefit around 2,000 students from 15 colleges and also 50 companies.

While 100 hours of training will be prescribed, 40 hours would be for domain skills and 60 for soft skills training which includes business communication, placement preparation, etc.

The current curriculum for domain skills will focus on IT, manufacturing and e-publishing industry.

“Later we will try to frame the curriculum for a variety of skills.” He makes it clear that business communication is not the substitute for “spoken English” though this is also a serious lacuna with regard to the candidates from rural and Tier II and III towns.

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