Upgrade ITI Courses For Better Placement
The decision of the managing committee of the Panaji ITI (Industrial Training Institute) to tie up with private companies for apprenticing students has resulted in 100 per cent placement of their alumni. The Panaji ITI signed an agreement with Hyundai two years ago and is in process of signing one with Siemens and another with a five star hotel for training and placement of students. The Panaji ITI is the best ITI in the state, with 3.5 on a 5-star rating scale. The credit goes to its managing committee for the upgradation under the central government’s model ITI scheme. The ITI at Vasco too has been upgraded under in a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) arrangement. There are 14 ITIs in the state, of which 10 are run by the government and four by private managements. The total intake in these ITIs is over 4,000 students who undergo training in 13 trades. According to Aleixo da Costa, the director of State Director of Craftsmen Training, the average placement of the students passing out from these institutions is 80 per cent. Though ITI courses are intended for placement in the private sector, quite a good number of the students prefer government jobs.
The ITIs were once seen as the refuge of school dropouts, but of late the scene has changed, with around 50 per cent of the students admitted to various courses having passed twelfth standard. This has resulted in improvement in grasp of courses and performance standards. Two students from the state, one from Mapusa ITI and the other from Margao ITI, topped the All India Skill Competition in Computer Operator and Programming Assistant (COPA) and cutting and sewing course respectively, a first of its kind in the state. Besides, the ITIs in the state are rated highly with average star rating being 2.7, whereas the national average is 1.9. Of the 10 government-run ITIs, 4 have been able to secure more than a 3-star rating. The ITIs are given ranking after being judged for quality of training, results, placement of the students, availability of trainers and linkage with the industry. Good star ratings indicate that Goan ITIs are improving in imparting training and other aspects.
Though ITI courses have improved as also the performance of the students, there is need to change the mindset of the Goan youth to motivate them to take up technical courses at these institutes and to seek employment in the private sector, rather than wasting years waiting for government jobs. The students passing out from the ITIs could avail the benefit from the apprenticeship scheme to hone their skills which will help them get absorbed in the companies where they undergo further training or use the expertise they get through additional training to set up their own businesses. There are quite a good number of ITI alumni who have set up their own businesses and are providing jobs to others. With the ITI courses in the state being shaped as per the guidelines of the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF), a quality assurance framework which organises qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude, the students would not only be able to get better training but acquire better knowledge for upward mobility.
The perception among private employers is that the ITI courses do not meet their requirements, so there is need for bringing the courses in tune with the times and industry requirements. Teaching of skills that leads to good placement at the ITIs will help attract more students to them. The state government must reappraise and revise the ITI courses constantly in consultation with the industry. The government must meet the changing needs of the industry or the skill-job mismatch would never go. Let the managing committee of other ITIs follow the model of the Panaji ITI to seek out private companies, understand their requirements and sign agreements with them for placement of their students. The state government should support the directorate of State Director of Craftsmen Training in introducing the courses with the National Council for Vocational Training to help Goan ITI alumni gain acceptability outside Goa. The directorate should quickly implement their plan to replace the ageing equipment and machinery at the ITIs for better and upgraded teaching at a cost of Rs 35 crore. Good training and exposure to better equipment would help students get job offers as they would be able to adapt to the changing job profiles in the various industries and perform to the satisfaction of their employers.