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Vocational training key to 9-10 per cent growth: Ramadorai

Staff Reporter
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TCS chief sees huge employment scope for skilled workers in India

TCS vice chairman S.Ramadorai (left), with McKinsey & Company director Shirish Sankhe at the annual convention of MMA in Chennai on Saturday.Photo: R.Ragu
TCS vice chairman S.Ramadorai (left), with McKinsey & Company director Shirish Sankhe at the annual convention of MMA in Chennai on Saturday.Photo: R.Ragu

If India's rate of economic growth has to be maintained at 9 -10 per cent, over 250 million workers who are presently untrained and under-employed need formal training, said Tata Consultancy Services Vice Chairman S.Ramadorai.

Making a fervent plea for a revamp of technical education and vocational courses, Mr.Ramadorai said the automotive sector alone required over five million skilled workers over the next three years. “In India, some professions have acquired an element of glamour, Information Technology included. As a result, the aspirations of millions of youth in the country are being funnelled into a narrow set of choices. Vocational training is seen as an option for those who can't cope with mainstream education,” he added.

Speaking at ‘Reinventing India', the annual convention of Madras Management Association here on Saturday, Mr.Ramadorai said: “We have a chance to be the ‘talent capital' of the world. For that, we need to show respect for the skill of a carpenter, plumber or a welder. In European countries, about 60 per cent of all students get into the vocational stream. A number of them have become CEOs of big companies.” Whereas, in India, very few students get into vocational colleges and the system churns out hardly 3-4 million qualified persons each year, he added. Insisting that mindsets need to change, he said: “There are alternative routes to upward mobility and success”.

Shirish Sankhe, Director, McKinsey & Company, spoke about the need to “fix cities”, as 600 million people were projected to live in urban areas by 2030.

Though India may have a young population, which would serve as an advantage, the positives, Mr.Sankhe said, were far outweighed by non-transparent and inefficient governance structures.

In a session on ‘Renewing Governance', State Chief Information Commissioner K.S.Sripathi said the bureaucracy was burdened by too many “restrictions and shackles”.

“The political system is such that a person who does not say ‘yes' to every capricious and whimsical demand of the political bosses would be shunted out,” he said.

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