'ITIs should offer more options for better job opportunities'

'ITIs should offer more options for better job opportunities'

Twelve-year-old Shubindh Sharma wants to become a tourist guide, no wonder travelling is his passion. But he is undergoing a training programme at Industrial Training Institute in Chittorgarh to become an air conditioner mechanic. Reason, there is no institute offering training to become a guide.

Like Sharma there are thousands of children across the state who want the non-technical vocational programmes to be included in ITIs. Recently, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said in order to offer skill-based training programmes to youth, there is a need to promote ITIs than Indian Institute of Technology (IITs).

“There are no institutes in Gujarat or elsewhere in the country where training is given to become a tourist guide. It’s time we should start opening such institutes to channel the energy of the youth in the right direction and help them earn a dignified living in turn adding to the development of the country,” he added, while addressing a national conference on skill development that was organised by the Department of Labour and Employment of Gujarat government.

Ashish Vyas, who is pursuing a technical course at ITI in Chittorgarh after completing class 8, looks forward to reaping the benefits of the vocational training. “I couldn’t continue higher education because of poor financial condition of my family. So I got myself enrolled in the course. But I wish there were more options for non-technical courses,” the teenager said who has to pay Rs 27,000 annually for the two-year course.

“Since my father is also an electrician, it will be easy for me to take up the job,” Vyas said. According to a report by the National Skill Development Corporation, net enrolment in vocational courses in India is about 5.5 million per year compared to 90 million in China and 11.3 million in the US. A mere two per cent of Indian workers are formally skilled. The bulk of the labour force in India — about 93 per cent — who work in the unorganised sector have no formal training at all.

The Gujarat chief minister said his government has taken initiatives to declare two-year ITI course after class 8  equivalent to class 10, and two-year ITI course after class 10 equivalent to class 12, paving the way for higher studies for the interested students.

Modi also expressed concern over the condition of people involved in skilled or semi-skilled jobs. “It is strange that the worth of a skilled labourer is not valued. But it is the common man, the skilled labourers, who run the country and not the babus and netas.”

At present, 263 government ITIs, 335 Kaushalya Vardhan Kendras, 617 Vocational Training Providers and 41 Employment Exchanges are functioning under the Commissionerate of Employment and Training (CET) of Gujarat.