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Role of vocational education and training in reducing unemployment in India

By Manoj Neelamegan

Unemployment is an important indicator of the state of the economy. It is a problem that is an unrelenting concern in India. Lack of formal vocational education and industrial skills in professional courses, dropout from high school and lack of technical qualifications are some of the reasons for youth unemployment. High unemployment rates are a sign of economic distress and very low unemployment rates could indicate an overheated economy.

The experts point to many reasons for the unemployment scenario. One is that the education of graduates who are unemployed plays a key role in unemployment. Youth unemployment in India is one of the main concerns and the most discussed issue and we have not been able to find a concrete solution for it.

About two million graduates and half a million postgraduate students are unemployed in India. According to a 2016 study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCCHAM), only seven percent of MBA graduates were found to be employable. According to the National Employability Report of Engineers, more than 80% of engineering students in India were not fit enough to take a job in the knowledge economy. A recent survey on Consumer Pyramids 2021 conducted by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt Ltd (CMIE) stated that graduates with higher education after HSC have the highest unemployment rate. About 35 million people in India were actively looking for work at the end of 2021 and were unable to find a suitable job that matched their profile. Nearly 70 to 80% of young people who graduate are confronted with similar problems every year.

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Causes of Unemployment in India

Insufficient economic growth – The Indian economy is underdeveloped and the role of economic growth is insufficient. This slow growth has failed to provide suitable employment opportunities for the growing population. As the population grows, the economy can’t keep up with the demand for work and a large number of people can’t find it, leading to underemployment across the country.

Institutions That Take A Theoretical Approach Only- Many of the higher education institutions in India mostly follow the theoretical approach.

Focus is more on grades – The students are encouraged to focus more on their grades and grades rather than the knowledge gained.

Memorization affects actual learning- The students make a habit of rote learning, which affects actual learning and results in a lack of industrial skills and practical training among students, resulting in in a large skills gap between the jobs and the job seekers. Another reason is that students end up having low productivity in their work or not finding the right opportunity.

Education System- The education system is a major cause of unemployment in India among educated people. Therefore, the outcome of the education should focus on business-ready skills with practical training experience and not on the highest grades and grades.

How do vocational education and training contribute to reducing unemployment?

To prepare students for industry and to close the skills gap in the employment landscape, vocational education and training (VET) in India needs to be improved. It ensures the development of skills in a wide range of occupational areas, through school-based and work-based learning. In addition, it also plays a vital role in ensuring low school leaving and facilitating the transition from school to work. According to the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), vocational education and training can be defined as technical education as the learner directly develops expertise in a particular group of technologies and techniques.

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VET is a skills-based education that focuses on occupation and unemployment. It has the potential to ensure that every student in the classroom is part of the learning process, as the ultimate goal of VET is ‘learning by doing’. In vocational education, each student focuses on practical training and very little on the theoretical aspect. This approach prepares the students for the industry and also to be entrepreneurs. It is very important for India to focus on VET as VET aims to close the skills gap between jobs and job seekers and make a significant contribution to the national economy.

VET provides an affordable and great opportunity to improve employability factors and also acquire technical skills. High-quality vocational education and training by skilled trainers will generate a young and efficient workforce that will contribute wholeheartedly to the advancement of the nation. It will also provide self-employment opportunities for people living below the poverty line, people with disabilities and women.

The author is the Dean of the Scottish Institute of Hospitality Sciences. Opinions expressed are personal.

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