Only 5% of engg graduates in TN are job-ready: study

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 18, 2015

‘Industry-academia collaborations have no significant impact on the ground’

Just 5 per cent of those graduating from engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu are job-ready from an industry perspective, notes a study by HR Consulting firm Strides Consulting.

The study also notes that there has been “almost no change in the scenario from about five years back” when surveys then put the numbers at over 4 per cent, well below States such as Delhi, Bihar and Jharkhand.

“The findings are both an eye-opener as well as a shocker for the engineering education system in the State and the industry that faces the daunting challenge of hiring the right candidates,” say Venkat, Chief Executive of Strides.

Skill development

Meanwhile, industry associations have started to address this issue on a war-footing. The buzzword in meetings of industry big-wigs is ‘skill development’, and for the academia it is more on industry-institute tie-ups.

Venkat however pointed out that the so-called industry-academia collaborations have had no significant impact on the ground, apart from the handful of colleges that go all out to ensure employability.

Texpreneurs Forum for instance has mooted the “Texpreneurs Apprenticeship Programme for Engineers” (TAPE); a programme targeted at freshers from semi-urban engineering colleges in the State.

The forum has urged every member mill to recruit engineers based on a simple IQ test and train them in specific skill sets, as required by the industry.

“The requirement is huge. We are working to train such youngsters in areas such as energy conservation, cost management, waste control, value addition and the like. Industry experts will impart hands-on training for a period of two years after which they will be absorbed by our member mills.

During the training period, these trainees will draw a stipend, which will be revised every six months,” Secretary of the Forum Prabhu Damodharan told BusinessLine.

The forum is planning to enrol 500 candidates in the first phase of TAPE and ultimately train 5,000 graduate engineers over a five-year period. “Going forward, we will also look to train graduates from Arts and Science colleges in HR area,” he said.

“At the present rate, things will not get any better even by 2020. The best way forward would be a budgetary allocation by the State for setting up finishing schools and preparing students to be industry-ready. States such as Odisha have initiated such schools,” opines Venkat.

Centre of excellence

Southern India Mills Association, the apex body of textile mills in the region, has sought policy intervention for converting the four closed cooperative spinning mills into Centres of Excellence for textile skill development.

This will be initiated under the PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) mode involving the Textile Research Association, educational institutions, Tirupur Exporters’ Association and industry stakeholders to enhance employability.

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Published on June 18, 2015
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