Vocational education in India

Vocational education is that form of instruction designed to prepare people for industrial or commercial employment. It can be acquired either formally in trade schools, technical secondary schools, or in on-the-job training programs or, more informally, by picking up the necessary skills on the job.[1]

CEO World magazine ranked India's economic growth rate at the beginning of the 21st century as among the 10 highest in the developing world.[2] Combined with the fact that India has been ranked the 5th largest economy in the world, the latest survey of unemployment in India 2021-2022 shows the unemployment rate [3]as 6.40%. The economic times[4] revealed that labour market shrunk by 2.1 million in 2022.  

Employers requiring skilled workers and the employment-seeking population face issues like lower wages, poor working condition which puts India in a unique position. A labour/skill shortage for industry survey by FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce) found that 90% of companies face a labour shortage. 89% of companies said that the demand for the product is not met due to labour shortages in the market. The research paper India’s dream run and its aftermath[5] shows that India did see an economic boom from 2003-08 referred to as the dream run but not in the manufacturing sector, which made it difficult to provide jobs to unskilled and semi-skilled populations. This problem is aggravated due to a lack of skill development programs to bridge the labour demand and supply gap.

Courses By CBSEEdit

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in India has included following vocational subjects in their senior secondary education:

Commerce based:

  1. Office Secretaryship
  2. Stenography and Computer Applications
  3. Accountancy and Auditing
  4. Marketing and Salesmanship
  5. Banking
  6. Retail
  7. Financial Market Management
  8. Business Administration

Engineering based:

  1. Electrical Technology
  2. Automobile Technology
  3. Civil Engineering
  4. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology
  5. Electronics Technology
  6. Geospatial Technology
  7. Foundry
  8. IT Application

Health and Para Medical based:

  1. Ophthalmic Techniques
  2. Medical Laboratory Techniques
  3. Auxiliary Nursing & Midwifery
  4. X-Ray Technician
  5. Healthcare Sciences
  6. Health and Beauty Studies
  7. Medical Diagnostics

Home Science based:

  1. Fashion Design & Clothing Construction
  2. Textile Design
  3. Design Fundamental
  4. Music Technical Production
  5. Beauty Services


  1. Transportation System & Logistic Management
  2. Life Insurance
  3. Library and Information Sciences

Agriculture based:

  1. Poultry Farming
  2. Horticulture
  3. Dairying Science and Technology

Hospitality and Tourism based:

  1. Food Production
  2. Food and Beverage Services
  3. Mass Media Studies and Media Production
  4. Bakery and Confectionery
  5. Front office
  6. Travel and Tourism

Courses offered by Government of IndiaEdit

  1. Udaan
  2. Polytechnics
  3. Parvaaz[3]
  4. National Rural Livelihood Mission[4]
  5. Industrial Training Institutes
  6. Aajeevika mission of national rural livelihood[6]
  7. Craftsmen Training Scheme[7]

Challenges to Implement VET in IndiaEdit

The challenges for the growth of vocational training such as traditional and cultural bias against non-white collar jobs. The lack of mechanism at the state level to work towards vocational education and training have been observed in the research paper.[8]

The UGC and other bodies do not recognize vocational courses offered by the private institution leading to the low uptake of Vocational courses. The paper also mentioned an unemployment rate of 11% in VET courses.

Initiatives by Government  Edit

After the National Skills Development Policy[9] in 2009, the government created National Skills Coordination Board,[10] the National Skill Development Corporation, and National Skills Qualification Framework.[11] There was a commitment made by the Minister of Finance to inject Rs.1000 crore into the system structure.

Sector Skills Councils[12] was established under NSDC, aiming to involve industry in training and labour force growth, set occupational standards, and accredit qualification. The creation of NSQF includes academic, vocational, and technical qualifications. It aims to facilitate the recognition of prior learning and improvement between the levels and types of education.

Schemes by GovernmentEdit

  • In 2014, the National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme provided monetary incentives on average of Rs.10,000 for completing certain training programs. The target of the scheme was to upskill one million young people.
  • In 2015, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana scheme was launched to provide skills to 2.4 million people. Out of the 2.4 million people, a million were registered under the Recognition of Prior Learning Framework.
  • The Modular Employable Skills scheme focused on providing short-term training in high-demand sectors and industries. The training fees incurred under the scheme are refunded on completion of the certification. Also, female candidates from backward castes are given discounts to encourage participation.

Impact of VET on EconomyEdit

The Institute of Applied Manpower Research argued that 291 million additional workers are required in 2022-2023. The government attempted to increase the VET in the country to upskill 500 million workers to reduce the gap.

A research article on vocational educational and training in India found that 11% of 15-29 years old who had received vocational education and training are unemployed. This trend is slowly reversing but still exists.

A study from the International Labour Organization shows that apprenticeships have the potential to contribute to the economy. It said that small businesses found the increased earnings associated with training outweighed the associated cost.

The NPSD recognized the informal sector's potential as a significant part of the economy.[13]


  1. ^ "Vocational education". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  2. ^ . CEOWorld https://ceoworld.biz/2022/09/05/the-worlds-largest-economies-2022/#:~:text=While%20this%20was%20anticipated%20for,China%2C%20Japan%2C%20and%20Germany. Retrieved 2022-11-07. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b "Vocational Training and for Underprivileged Children and Youths in India". Yashoda Foundation - An NGO dedicated to the betterment of underprivileged children & their families. 2015-04-28. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  4. ^ a b Indusnettechnologies, Goutam Pal, Dipak K S, Swadesh Dey. "National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM): National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM)". udd.uk.gov.in. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  5. ^ http://www.igidr.ac.in/images/stories/India-Dream-Run.pdf
  6. ^ "Welcome to National Rural Livelihoods Mission | National Rural Livelihoods Mission". aajeevika.gov.in. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  7. ^ "Vocational Training in India - A skill Based Education". Vocational Training Center. 2018-05-01. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  8. ^ https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13636820.2017.1303785?journalCode=rjve20
  9. ^ https://www.msde.gov.in/en/reports-documents/policies/national-policy-skill-development-and-entrepreneurship-2015
  10. ^ Media, CPPR; PR. "National Skill Development Coordination Board (NSDCB) Archives". Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR). Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  11. ^ HQ_Content_Creator (2021-03-21). "About NSQF". www.nielit.gov.in. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  12. ^ "Sector Skill Councils (SSC) | Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship | NSDC". nsdcindia.org. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  13. ^ https://www.cityandguildsgroup.com/~/media/cgg%20website/documents/cggroupindia%20pdf.ashx


Further readingEdit

External linksEdit