Skills and knowledge are the engines of economic growth and social development of any country. Countries with higher and better levels of knowledge and skills respond more effectively and promptly to challenges and opportunities of globalisation. A paradigm shift from education based on inputs towards education based on learning outcomes is taking place. Thus, Skill Development Centre came into existence in 2014 for the introduction of Technical and Vocational Education. Technical and Vocational Education plays a vital role in human resource development of the country by creating skilled manpower, enhancing industrial productivity and improving the quality of life.
Bachelor of Vocational Degree and Community colleges laid the foundation of vocational training in higher education. B.Voc. (Bachelor of Vocational Degree) courses are available in several fields for students who have completed their 12th standard or equivalent. This is largely targeted towards youth who want to enhance their employability opportunities to learn, earn and grow. The advantage of these courses is that as against common Degree courses like Engineering or B.Com or B.Sc. . Here you have multiple exit points and continued exposure to industry. The work experience increases your chances of landing a job. You may also find innovative, trendy and new areas of expertise that match with your interests and job aspirations.
The B.Voc. programmes are offered by universities and colleges alongside other undergraduate (UG) courses. However, unlike the traditional UG courses, B.Voc. curriculum is often mapped with job role descriptions as per National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). Since the curriculum is industry and work-integrated and for some reason, if you are unable to complete the 3-year program, you can still obtain a Diploma and Advanced Diploma (or equivalent) after completion of the first and second years respectively. After successful completion of 3 years B.Voc .Degree will be awarded from respective University to which the B.Voc. program is affiliated. As, your knowledge and skills are valued at every level and you will be qualified for a suitable job, as per market requirements. Entrepreneurship can also be an opportunity in the domain of your interest.
B.Voc degree programmes are offered in over 200 colleges across the country.The course curriculum has 40% general education (theory) and 60% vocational training (practical) components which follows semester system and credits are allocated for theory component and skilling component.The students who have enrolled in B.Voc courses appreciate the practical focus and are confident that their chances of getting a suitable job are higher than other graduates.
These courses are expected to comply with NSQF and hence skill assessment is Sector Skill Council(SSC). Job roles corresponding to each of these competency levels would be ascertained with the involvement of industry, through the respective Sector Skill Councils (SSCs).
Industry-led national partnership organizations known as Sector Skill Councils are working to bring together all the stakeholders from their respective sectors. Depending on the needs of the industries in concerned sector, the SSCs develop the NOSs and QPs for the various job roles in their sectors, and they align the same to appropriate levels of the NSQF. They work to supplement the existing vocational training and education system for the Industry Sector. To meet the requirements of appropriately trained manpower in quantity and quality across all levels on a sustained and evolving basis the SSC provides inputs.
Many colleges have come forward to offer B.Voc courses by collaborating with different industry sectors. As a part of the course, students do hands-on work in the industry and attend theory classes in the college. As they do internship in industry most of them get absorbed by the industry at the end of their course.
There are a number of other universities and colleges that offer these courses across the states of Punjab, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The general education component should adhere to the normal university standards which provide holistic development. However, it should not exceed 40% of the total curriculum. To meet the industry requirement adequate emphasis should be given to language and communication skills.
The curriculum is designed as per NSQF with Qualification packs and National Occupation Standards such that at the end of year- 1, year-2 and year-3, students are able to meet the level descriptors for level 5, 6 and 7 of the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF), respectively.
At S P Pune University, following UGC approved 3 year different B.Voc. degree programs are offered.
1.B.Voc. in Renewable Energy
2.B.Voc. in Retail Management
3.B.Voc. in IT & ITeS
4.B.Voc. in Automotive Automation
5.B.Voc.in Automotive Manufacturing
6.B.Voc.in Jelewarry Design & Gemology
7.B.Voc.in Supply, Chain & Management
This article is written by Dr. Sashikant Gunjal (Skill Development Centre, Savitribai Phule Pune University)
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