New Delhi, July 5 : In order to maintain India's competitive edge, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has joined hands with Delhi University (DU) to empower students to benefit from the growing opportunities in the industrial sector and address the skill shortages faced by Indian industry. The effort underlies CII's efforts to make India a knowledge economy based on human skills and equitable opportunity.
The partnership is aimed at providing Industry endorsed professional skills through a 6 months certification program at Keshavpuram under the aegis of School of Open Learning, DU, which will largely enhance their skills as they prepare to launch their career.
The objective of this first time-ever partnership between two premier bodies of industry and academia is to bridge the gap between demand and supply of skilled workforce.
As colleges reopen on July 16, there will be a batch of students already acquiring functional skills clustered around three high growth segments- Information Technology, Automotives and Retail. he course curriculum has been developed in consultation with industry and will be delivered using advanced methodologies, including case studies, interaction with domain experts, case simulation and real life hands on experience through a two-month internship program with the Industry.
Regular contact classes will be held at Keshavpuram Center of DU, which is accessible by Delhi Metro. The center is well equipped with computer labs and specific labs for retail and automotive sector are also being developed. The response to the programme has been overwhelming with more than 200 students applying for the courses. The first course on retail sector will commence from July 7, 2008.
Several industry verticals are largely hampered due to the non availability of skilled work force, thereby retarding growth. This fact has also been highlighted by a study conducted by CII in select sectors which revealed that those workers with tertiary qualification have observed great increase in wages compared to others. The movement in wages shows that formal education and skill acquisition are key determinants of firm productivity and job prospects.
In March 2008, the CII signed an MOU with Delhi University to launch the Professional Skills Project.
Vijay K Thadani, Chairman, CII National Committee on Education said: "Though the University system provides firm knowledge foundation to students, it is also necessary to impart functional skills to students to be productive while responding to the global demand of 40 million skilled work force".
He asserted that private sector is keen to partner Government and provide industry-based skills to students.
The university sector has an enrollment of more than 10.4 million students each year, where graduates from the general stream outnumber those with professional qualifications, either due to lack of capacity to get enrolled in professional courses, or inability to find work post higher/secondary education.
Though enrollments in academic institutions are significant, the percentage of people having marketable skills is very low. Compared with the rest of the world, only five percent of the Indian working population in the age group of 20-24 years has vocational skills. For eg: 96 percent of the similar workforce in Korea have vocational skills and this number is between 60-80 percent for Industrialized countries.
Economic growth in India has picked up considerable momentum with services and manufacturing sector growing rapidly. To sustain this growth rate and addressing the young population of our country, there is a great need for investment in skill development and participation from all stakeholders is imperative to ensure the scope and scale of skill development initiatives.