Changing the skill development model 

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Context: In a rapidly changing world, there is a need to talk about skill development and predicting where jobs will be in 2032. 

What are the challenges wrt job creation? 

It is difficult to predict what jobs will be created in the long run.

Also, India’s mental models for skill related policies were not only inefficient but dangerous. For example, P C Mahalanobis Model in India failed to integrate labour with capital and capital with the labour in the Indian economy.  

What are measures that can be taken?

(A) The government can enable the degree apprentices, a tripartite contract between an employer, university, and the youth. It will build a robust skill system and the world’s largest apprenticeship system for 10 million young people.  The five design principles of the degree apprentice model 

– Learning while earning: The Degree apprentices programme involves stipends and scholarships payments. The employers will be willing to pay because of the high return. The graduates have better productivity, lower attrition, and lower time needed to fill open jobs. Therefore,  

– Learning by doing: The skill system should be based on demand rather than driven by supply. Now more focus should be given on soft skills rather than hard skills. The degree apprenticeships programme and the employers should integrate a practical and theoretical curriculum with actual doing. 

– Learning with flexible delivery: Skills can be learnt in four classrooms: On-the-job (apprenticeships), online, on-campus, and onsite (faculty coming to workplaces). All Institutions offering degree apprenticeships should combine the four classrooms in varying proportions depending on the needs, abilities, and means of different employers and young job seekers.  

– Learning with qualification modularity: There should be no policy distinction between vocational and degree education. These distinctions were strengthened with the Radhakrishnan Report (1948), Kothari Commission (1968), and New National Policy on Education (1986). 

Learning with signalling value: In India, there are strict entry and exit rules in the higher education system like tight entry gates (IIMs/IITs) or tight exit gates (chartered accountants). Therefore, these regulations should be eased for massifying higher education. 

(B)  The NEP 2020 proposes to remove partitions between schools, skills, and college. Degree apprenticeships offer academic credit for prior skills and for on-the-job learning, and full qualification modularity via multiple on and off-ramps between certificates, diplomas, and degrees. 

(C) The policy and regulatory issues related to the tripartite apprenticeship contracts should be simplified. 

Source: The post is based on an article “Changing the skill development model” published in the Indian Express on 25th April 2022. 

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