Perspectives on Tapping Technical Skills in India : Chris Jones, CITY & GUILDS | digitalLEARNING Magazine
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Perspectives on Tapping Technical Skills in India : Chris Jones, CITY & GUILDS

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chris jones
Director General,
CITY & GUILDS


Aiming to become a global benchmark for workplace skills and professional development, City & Guilds works to enable people and organisations to develop the skills they need for personal and economic growth. 

Chris Jones shares his experience about providing solutions in professional development.

IndiaSkills will localise business processes to create qualifications and assessment systems designed to match the needs of India’s very specific regional and sectoral market requirements.

What are the objectives and the target audience of City & Guilds, in reference to the area of education and training? How are its applications being deployed in India?

City & Guilds works to enable people and organisations to develop the skills they need for personal and economic growth. Our aim is to become the global benchmark for workplace skills and professional development. We’re doing this by providing the highest quality assessment, learning and career support.

In India, we have joined forces with Manipal Education to open a new company called, IndiaSkills. This new company takes the best elements of its two like-minded parent companies to create a solution that will respond to India’s skills needs. At an affordable price, learners will be provided with a ‘fit for purpose qualification’ and a direct link to employment supported by flexible delivery and learner and tutor support.

City & Guilds have many training programmes running across worldwide. Can you give us details on the kind of courses run by your organisation, the duration of the courses, the fee structure and the scholarship schemes. How do you justify ‘training-on job’ scheme?

City & Guilds is the UK’s leading awarding body. We have 300 qualifications, across 21 industry sectors and we operate in 81 countries. Our range of qualifications are as varied as the people who take them. We’ve got the crowd pullers – engineering, health and social care, hairdressing, automotive maintenance and construction – all the way through to more niche career options like floristry. We design qualifications for everyone from beginners to people who run their own companies. The duration and fee structure depends largely on the country, the qualification and whether or not the qualification is ‘subsidised’ by the government.

IndiaSkills has developed its own products (qualifications) that are recognised in the Indian market and will be relevant to large employers in specified target sectors. Our fee structure ensures that vocational education is affordable and accessible to every level of society.

Is the content provided for the higher educational skill training, under various courses, standardised? At the same time is localisation of the subject matter given consideration while approaching different communities, in different states/ countries?

In most countries the benchmarks and standards are set by government skills councils, who liaise closely with industry. We then develop qualifications to match, or in some cases, improve on these standards. We strive to be the global benchmark for vocational education and we realize to achieve this ambition, you need to ensure your product is directly relevant to the local marketplace, which is why we have taken a joint venture approach in India.

City & Guilds in association with Manipal University recently launched ‘IndiaSkills’. What is the role that City & Guilds is to play in the given partnership?  What is the basis for forming partnership with Manipal university?

The basis of the partnership is to create a business and qualifications recognised by employers in India with similar standards to City & Guilds’ existing framework. The joint venture has the aim of producing 500 centres and 1 million learners in 5 years.

City & Guilds will provide the curriculum for the content of the courses. Manipal will provide support on the ground to deliver the work-based training schemes, while leveraging its existing links with major employers in India to help ensure newly qualified students obtain employment.

The most important factor is that IndiaSkills will localise business processes to create qualifications and assessment systems designed to match the needs of India’s very specific regional and sectoral market requirements.

In practice this means that we will build on City & Guilds’ extensive range of qualifications but they will be completely redeveloped and localised, with the input of Indian industry experts and the input of major employers.

Are there other institutions with whom an alliance is being sought in India? Are there any alliances being sought with Government of India, from your behalf?

We are looking at many potential business partners and possibilities. Watch this space!

Does City & Guilds have tie-ups with industry players for the placement of the trained manpower? What is the nature of companies being sought for placement of the trained manpower?

Reputable training providers from across the country have been invited to become an IndiaSkills Vocational Training Centre. To ensure the highest quality teaching and assessment standards the centres will enter into an operating agreement to deliver training according to benchmarks laid down in conjunction with City & Guilds. The business model

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