Soft skills in technical curriculum soon

447372760The wave of skilling the young blend of employees to the requirements of the industry has become the slogan for the Modi government for a long time now and as part of initiating the goal of bridging the chasm between skills imparted by vocational training schools and the abilities industry, an ambitious plan to top-up the existing technical syllabus across industrial training institutes has been proposed.

The proposed agenda of imparting soft skills to the technical curriculum has on the anvil are over 500 hours of training content on soft skills like inter-personal communication and functional English to be used for daily workplace chores, practical know-how on dealing with emergencies in work domains and, IT skills necessary to browse the iNet and social media, and operate office productivity tools.

“There is a renewed sense of urgency in the government about achieving outcomes in skill development and job creation. Our goal is to create high-value jobs that can support a family and the government needs to leverage technology and innovation to achieve scale for its Skill India program,” says Ajay Kela, chairman of the Wadhwani Foundation that is working with the skill development and entrepreneurship ministry to roll out the plan.

“I use Uber to commute instead of hiring or buying a car, whether Iam in the US or India. But whenever I order n Uber in Delhi, the driver invariably calls me twice tocheck the address though a GPS device in his car has the co-ordinates. The reason is the Indian river’s fear of technology,” he said, explaining the need for youth to be able to use such productivity tools.

“Infosys wouldn’t have created itsMysore campus, if it didn’t need to train graduates for another year tobe fit for the job. India’s BPO industry is worth $20 billion dollars and pays more to hire graduates but faces a high attrition rate.

‘If we can train a XIIth pass in six to 12 months on things like data entry and calls that won’t be the case,” Kela asserted.

Over the next six months, the outfit will work with the Centre to deliver skill sets to over 6,000 trainee sat 300 industrial training institutes or ITIs on a pilot basis.

After an impact-assessment exercise, the program will be scaled up to 10,000- odd ITIs and other vocational education initiatives like the University Grants Commission, that is looking at setting up hundreds of community colleges, or private sector training providers working with National Skills Development Corporation.

“Companies are willing to pay more salaries to people who can talk in English and operate a PC. If we can demonstrate this successfully, others can replicate it, including government schools,” added Kela.

The foundation has developed 349 training lessons on such workplace skills that are imparted in interactive-video formats.