Vocational career expertise

Vocational career expertise

The collaborative efforts of Singapore and India in the field of vocational training has resulted in a world-class skills centre designed to meet the current needs of the Indian industry, writes Michael Patrao.

The successful vocational skills education model of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) of the Singapore’s Ministry of Education has now come to India. The Indian Government decided to engage ITE through ITE Educational Services (ITEES) to provide consultancy services in setting up a world-class skills centre at Jonapur in South Delhi. This said to be the biggest collaboration in technical and vocational education. 

The Department of Training and Technical education has already been allotted 27 acres of land for the project. ITEES is providing assistance in campus design and development, curriculum customisation, set-up of training facilities, facilitation of equipment purchase and training of leaders and trainers.

This collaboration brings in quality technical and vocational education training programmes to produce skilled manpower for Indian industries and to help make Delhi a hub in vocational and technical education. The sectors for vocational training include health, hospitality and tourism, IT and IT-enabled services, retail merchandising, automobile, logistics, production and manufacturing, accounting, banking and finance and food processing.

Through these training programmes, the skills centre aims to produce up to 15,000 skilled graduates annually to meet the demand for skilled labour across 11 industry sectors. 

Earlier, in Chennai, ITEES partnered with Rotary Engineering Ltd. to set an Oversees Skills Testing Centre in 2009. Till date, more than 200 workers have benefitted through acquiring ITE’s Skills Evaluation Test certification in electrical fitting, general welding and process fitting. ITEES has similar skill development programmes in nearly 40 countries including its neighbouring countries Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and African countries like Mozambique, Nigeria, Congo and South Africa.

Skills certification

The Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore, was established as a post-secondary education institution in 1992 under the Ministry of Education. It is the principal provider of career and technical education and principal authority in developing national occupational skills certification and standards to enhance Singapore’s workforce competitiveness. ITE has three colleges, comprising ITE College Central, ITE College East and ITE College West.

Explains Suresh Natarajan, Deputy Principal, (Development), ITE College Central, “Singapore’s educational system has six years of primary education and four years of secondary education. For those who are not academically inclined, ITE has 101 courses in 11 sectors. It aims to create opportunities for school bunkers and adult learners to acquire skills, knowledge and values for employability and lifelong learning in a global economy.”

ITE has a unique “Hands-on, Minds-on, Hearts-on” holistic education policy. Hands-on trains students to equip them with required skill-sets for employment. Minds-on develops students to think independently and be a flexible practitioner thus equipping them to manage rapid changes in the environment. Hearts-on helps students to have a passion for what they do, and care for the community and society.

Says Natarajan, “Life skills are taught across all courses. They include learning to work in a group, presentation skills and boy-girl relationship. Besides, there is also physical education in the form of a wellness module.”

ITE College Central is a college of creativity and innovation and its niche areas are aerospace and marine technology, business and events services, creative design and interactive media, engineering design and manufacturing technology and performance production. ITE College East is a college for enterprise and innovation with its niche areas in beauty and wellness, chemical and life sciences, entrepreneurship, nursing and healthcare services. ITE College West provides courses in service and innovation and it focuses on culinary and hospitality services, land transport, security technology and service innovation.

ITE’s largest and most challenging production to date was Fame – the musical which dazzled the audiences with bright lights, spectacular pyrotechnics, catchy tunes and high-octane dance performances. Besides premiering in Singapore, it enjoyed hugely successful stage runs on Broadway and the West End. It was a student’s production guided by the faculty at ITE College Central’s School of Design and Media.

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