Vocational Education Training in Non-Formal Mode:

Vocational Training is about imparting specialized skills and knowledge instilling social and political attitudes and behaviour patterns for successful economic activities by people engaged in dependent employment, self-employment in both Formal as well as Non-formal training. In its ‘Formal training’ all training courses are held in state or private (but state-certified) institutions and are regulated by state guidelines where as in the ‘Non-formal training’ it takes place without being subject to state guidelines and provides skills-upgrading for those who wish to extend their competencies. Vocational training, in its non-formal form, upgrades the skills, helps in capacity building, expands livelihood opportunities for the underprivileged, unreached informal sector workers and plays a key role in the national development.

Both vocational education and skills development have been known to increase productivity of individuals, profitability of employers and expansion of national development. A ‘knowledgeable’ workforce, one that is both highly skilled in a particular occupation and also exhibits flexibility, is seen as the most important human capital required for the development of a country.

India’s workforce is characterized as having low skills and poorly prepared to compete in today’s globalized world. Rapid technological changes now require individuals to learn and relearn skills throughout their working lives by ensuring its relevance and effectiveness. Hence it is inevitable to increase the knowledge, the skills and the institutional capacities within a time frame at the national and state levels. It’s true that skilled workforce, impacts positively on economic growth, raises productivity levels and reduces unemployment.

Vocational and professional training system would have a major positive impact on national competitiveness. The Technical and Vocational Education is considered as an important measure for the development of trained labour force required for the socio-economic development of a country.

It is argued that the elementary education must impart usable technical knowledge and vocational education can be used effectively to combat dropouts. More specifically, it is believed to be an effective answer to reduce unemployment and migration to urban centres. Technical education develops ‘skill culture’ in contrast to pure academic culture and preferences for white collar jobs and ‘to serve simultaneously the ‘hand’ and the ‘mind’, the practical and the abstract, the vocational and academic’. The development of occupational skills leads to technological advancement that ensures optimum utilization of resources and leads to enhanced productivity and thereby increased level of growth, competitiveness and job satisfaction and reduction in gap between demand and supply.

Skills development is an increasingly important factor in adapting societies to changing economic and environmental conditions. It can bring innovation, enhance productivity, stimulate economic competitiveness and underpin inclusive approaches to development. Despite significant progress, too many developing countries still lack effective vocational education and training (VET) strategies, and are struggling with costly and outdated training systems, and have no culture of evaluation and knowledge-based policymaking and programme administration.

In this age of liberalization, India is still way behind in training the people in different specializations. Vocational training is to impart specialized skills and knowledge, and instilling social and political attitudes and behavioural patterns essential for successful economic activities by people engaged in dependent employment, self-employment or subsistence work.

The Government of India in recent years has laid a lot of emphasis on streamlining vocational education so that it fulfils the emerging need of the market by focusing on employability skills.

The Prime Minister of India has suggested that India should set a goal to create 500 million certified and skilled technicians in the country by 2022. As we have the largest population of young people in the world, we need to invest adequately in their education and employability, to become the largest pool of technically trained manpower in the world.