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On the skill gap in TVET systems

This is a feedback given by me to a query on 'Skill Gap' in TVET systems in the UNESCO's UNEVOC online forum. Since skill development is a hot topic today, I thought I should share it here as well.

At the macro level, skill gap is the demand-supply gap of skilled manpower being faced by Industries. At the micro level, it is the gap between the skills acquired by a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduate and the skills required for specific job roles in the industries.

The above context requires that the skill gap study should start from listing out the job roles in the industry and the general standard of competencies required to carry out each function of a job role. As we are all aware of, in most cases, a job role will be a combination of many functions. A general practice, nowadays, is to list out the competencies for each such function and notify it as an 'Occupational Standard'. When we pack together such function-related 'Occupational Standards' together we will get a 'Qualification Pack' for a specific job role. Now, the skill gap study should attempt a comparative study between the Qualification Packs and the Curricula of TVET courses. The higher the amount of differences, the greater will be the skill gap.

Ideally, the principal factor that triggers the development of a course in TVET system should be the industry demand. The greater the receptiveness of TVET systems towards the above demand of the industry, the higher will be the relevance and acceptability of its courses in the labour market. This ideal scenario would be possible only through industry consultation and industry involvement during the entire life cycle of TVET programmes, that is, course development, content development, course transaction, internships, assessments, certification, placement and the industry feedback on the placed candidates for further improvement of the TVET programmes.

You can download the reports of the skill gap studies organized by the National Skill Development Corporation (India) from the website www.nsdcindia.org

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