India's first vocational university coming up soon in Gujarat

TeamLease University (TLU) will set up 22 community colleges across Gujarat that will offer two year associate degree programmes in collaboration with employers. The 22 community colleges are likely to come up over 36 months, while the first 10 will be set up over the next 18 months.

TLU will be India’s first University focused on vocational education. Employers will be at the heart of academics and technology will be at the heart of operations. It will offer quality education via four classrooms (physical, satellite, e-learning and on-the-job).
The two-year associate degree programmes will fill an important gap by creating a mezzanine layer between shorter certificate/ diploma courses (provided by TeamLease subsidiary IIJT) and traditional degree colleges.

These associate degree programmes are an important part of solution to the skill and vocational education crisis because of their higher duration (many children need more time for repair after having been badly served in their school year, higher employability (strong linkages with employers and mandatory apprenticeships) and vertical mobility (these programs can be used for lateral entry into traditional degree colleges).

Commenting on the agreement, Gujarat Government’s Principal Secretary (Education) Hasmukh Adhia said, “Youth unemployability is a bigger problem than youth unemployment. The Government of Gujarat has made human capital an important priority in all our actions and we believe that community colleges offering programs with strong employment linkages are an important part of the solution. We are happy that TeamLease is partnering with Gujarat to set up India’s first vocational education university.”

The TLU model of 22 community colleges across the State recognizes that taking students to training substantially increase costs and it is important to take training to students. TLU will use a multi-modal delivery model that will include satellite delivery (from studios in Ahmedabad, Delhi and Bangalore), classroom instruction, e-learning and on-the-job training.

Each community college will have technology at the heart of operations with online communities/portals for students and faculty, biometric attendance systems, and satellite classrooms.

Each course will be offered in partnership with employers who will serve on the Course Review panel which will meet quarterly to review admission criteria, curriculum, assessments, faculty trainer, exams and much else.

Each four semester associate degree will offer a one semester internship with an employer in the domain or function of their education. “TeamLease prays to one god; jobs. We have hired somebody every 5 minutes for the last 5 years but only hired 5 per cent of the kids who came to us for a job. TLU synthesises everything we stand for; strong employer linkages, learning-by-doing, vertical mobility of diplomas to degrees, taking training to students and quality at scale.

We are proud to partner with Gujarat for this innovation in India’s university system because global experience shows that community colleges improve accessibility, increase inclusiveness, lower costs and create vertical mobility,” said TeamLease Services Chairman Manish Sabharwal. India’s demographic dividend means that more than 1 million people will join India’s labour force every month for the next 20 years.

However, our skill crisis means that more than 58 per cent of our youth suffer some degree of skill deprivation. Converting growth to poverty reduction requires a massive overhaul of our education, employability and education (3E) ecosystem.

TLU represents an important integration of these 3Es because it tackles the twin national challenge of college gross enrollment ratio and employment outcomes for graduates.

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