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Here’s some good news for all those who argue that while colleges provide theoretical education, they don’t make students employment- ready. An Indian firm and a multi-national company are now collaborating to give students necessary skills that will make them job-ready.

IndiaCan, a joint venture between Educomp Solutions India Limited and Pearson, has set up its first centre in Bangalore. It aims to train over 500,000 people annually.
“We noticed that many young people lack basic spoken English and corporate skills,” says Sharad Talwar, CEO, IndiaCan. “The biggest problem we have in India is not that of unemployment; it is the unemployables. Students either do not have all the skills required, or they don’t know where the jobs are.  For instance, we have BCom graduates, but not all of them know to  reconcile statements. In IT alone, the industry spends 2.5 billion dollars every year to make young graduates employable,”  he says.
The courses that are being offered by IndiaCan include Spoken English, Accounts, Sales, Retail and IT.

The duration of courses range from 100 hours to a year — at a few hours a week, over the weekends. This, because the course is not just aimed at students, but also at those who are already working, and want to upgrade their skills so that they can move ahead.

Peer-to-peer teaching
The Spoken English course, which will fetch the student an IGNOU certificate upon completion, will follow a peer-to-peer teaching method. Students will be divided into groups, and they will work together in all class exercises, practice sessions, role play and assignments. “Pearson, which has been teaching English to non-native English speakers, has come up with this method, which is the best way to teach a foreign language. In many instances, people can actually understand the language but do not speak it due to lack of confidence. Students will work in groups; they will learn together and teach each other,” explains Talwar.

For some of the courses, IndiaCan is in the process of tying up with companies, to provide jobs to students who successfully complete the courses. It has also adopted a hire-train-place method in which representatives of some companies, which IndiaCan has tied up with, will do the preliminary interviews to select the candidates, before they are trained. The candidates are then given conditional job offer letters.
 IndiaCan also plans to introduce new courses shortly, in the fields of healthcare and media.

According to Talwar, the company’s target for the end of the year stands at an additional 250 centres — some of them run by franchisees  —  across the country. To ensure the quality of training across the different centres, the company will follow a stringent method of certification, ensuring a basic level of quality for all trainers. Feedback from students will also be received, and entry and exit assessments will be done.
The duration of the courses are between 20 and 100 hours; the fees range from Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 (for a year-long course with Tally certification) .

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