India’s drive to upskill over half of their youth

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India, and across the Asia-Pacific region, there’s a huge push for upskilling in one area of training.  The Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) system in India needs to expand very rapidly, in order to cater for the 5-6 million youth entering the labour force every year.

Add to this a fast-growing economy and upskilling India’s 53% illiterate workforce has never been more critical.  As it stands, less than 10% of the workforce has acquired vocational skills.

India’s current skill development has four major parts:india-youth

  1. Pre-employment training system of Industrial Training Institutes
  2. Formal vocational training providers (supported by the National Skill Development Corporation)
  3. Vocational education offered in senior secondary schools in year 11 & 12 – yet only 5% choose to enrol
  4. In-business training provided on recruitment by companies – but only 16% do this.

As you can see, there are limitations.  India must grow TVET to cater for the majority already in the labour force who have informally acquired skills.

The National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

The 2015 National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has been created to address the huge upskill challenge.  With a focus on improving employability, the policy provides an ‘umbrella framework to all skilling activities being carried out within the country, to align them to common standards and link the skilling with demand centres.

The Government also plans to add four years of vocational training with formal education.  This will also give students the option of pursuing long-term, non-conventional, degree courses to acquire skill sets sought by industry.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to implement this blueprint – which includes a national skills university and rebranding of Industrial Training Institutes with 2,500 new multiskilling institutes and converting polytechnic institutes into community colleges.

The plans will run over the next four years, with the aim of at least 25% of schools introducing vocational training from class nine.

Back home, Australia is helping strengthen the educational system in India.  The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the partnership focuses on exchanging information and policy ideas on issues of mutual interest including TVET in both countries.

As many developing countries aim to increase the skill levels of locals, the demand for well-trained educators grows.  The Australian Government is also developing a set of internationally relevant courses, under the International Skills Training (IST) initiative where the courses aim to match the global demands for trainers.

The three courses fulfil different training and assessment needs.  The TVET Trainer Course and TVET Assessor Course provides learners with a vocational background for the skills to train or assess learners in their industry of expertise.  Learners who successfully complete the courses will be able to make a significant contribution to TVET in their country.

Much is happening on the ground level in India too.  India Colleges Hub runs a technical diploma course in the specialised streams of science, technology and engineering.  These courses cost less than a traditional engineering degree, can be obtained after just 10 classes, and guarantees jobs after completion.

A few other private institutes include Delhi Institute of Vocational Training Centre, Nalanda Institute for Computer & Vocational Training, Centum Learning and the RMSA India.  All initiatives, while different, have one common vision: To make skills training a fundamental right in India.

Vocational education prepares people for jobs

India has recently emerged as a key country who is upscaling its vocational and education training system.  Private providers are on the rise, vocational education in secondary schools is growing and corporates are introducing training systems.  Plus, with the national skills framework bringing it all together, accessing training in India is much easier than it ever has been.

If you would like to know more about TVET capability development and growth strategies, please contact Wendy Perry at

November 2016

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