ITI holders turn to unskilled jobs


Though a number of ITI diploma holders pass out from the 15 ITI institutes in the state, a sizeable number of them take up jobs in other unskilled sectors, mainly due to low wages and long-hours of work.
A number of welders, fitters, carpenters, plumbers and electricians pass out annually from ITIs in the state.
The State Directorate of Craftsmen Training offers training under Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS) and Apprenticeship Training Scheme (ATS) which provide engineering and non-engineering courses approved by the Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGE&T) in the Ministry of Labour, Government of India and imparts skills in various vocational trades to meet the skilled manpower requirements for technology and industrial growth. Apart from this, the department has also introduced skill development initiative (SDI) which provides certified training for those who have practical experience but lack theoretical knowledge purely on hourly basis.
Though ATS is most beneficial, there is a downward trend among students due to low stipend of Rs 1500 per month, lack of awareness and long working hours. To enroll for 2-year practical course under ATS, a candidate has to have one year ITI training.  
Minimum qualification necessary under CTS and ATS is 8th to 10th class pass depending upon the requirement for various short-term and long-term courses while anybody from 14 years of age can enroll in these courses with no upper limit.
Under ATS, a stipend of Rs 4500 per month is paid as per Minimum Wages Act. 217 private and government establishments are registered under ATS. 1959 seats were on offer in the year 2012 as per Apprentices’ Act however; only 215 seats were availed of. Since its inception, the scheme has received very poor response with only 35 per cent seats being availed.
The intake capacity in ITIs in 2011-12 was 3434 but 3811 people were accommodated while in the year 2012-13 the intake capacity was 3576 and 3779 students were admitted. It included 1696 seats under Centre of Excellence (CoE), 1388 in engineering trading and 384 in State Craftsmen Vocational Training (SCVT). Additional 30 per cent seats were generated as per DGE&T norms.
A reliable source informed that by the year 2016, India will encounter a shortfall of skilled manpower as skilled manpower may migrate to other countries while many are likely to take up white collar jobs. Considering this, PM’s National Council on Skill Development has set a target to train 8 crore skilled people in the next five years. Lamenting the fact that it is very difficult to achieve the target without student motivation and government employment schemes, he disclosed that by the next week the department will conduct massive awareness drives on the importance of skill knowledge at BDO, panchayat and municipality level.
In the year 2012 under CTS, 1241 ITI students were interviewed by 74 industries but only 857 of them were short-listed while in the year 2011, 69 companies short-listed 455 trainees among 864 interviewed.
When questioned about students’ placement details, an apprenticeship officer replied that every year they conduct campus interview for CTS students; however, those who were selected were mostly from the field of mechanical, hotel management, automobile mechanics, turner and fitters’ with the salary ranging from Rs 4500-6000, while others who failed in the interview have started their own business and some have left the state for greener pastures.
Thousands of students pass out every year while maximum from them shift to blue collar jobs with no government policies and schemes to create employment with favorable salary package to solve the problem of unemployment, he added.
“In these five years, we have expanded. Now we plan to improve the quality of training of the existing institutes rather than investing on infrastructure. Beside we will create awareness about the benefits of training schemes and motivate students to take interest in technical education,” said Mr Aleixo F da Costa, the director of Craftsmen Training. [NT]