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TN to launch SkillTech varsity for varied courses

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on September 16, 2020 Published on September 16, 2020

Tamil Nadu is taking the lead in imparting students with training on future skills, with plans to launch a SkillTech University to offer courses in different sectors, including automotive and power. SkillTech University will be an online platform and will be beneficial to all stakeholders, including government, industries and students.

A blueprint of SkillTech University was launched today at CII Connect 2020. SkillTech will be a convergence of skill education, the university format and use technology to implement the same, said R Narayanan, National Leader, Education and Skill Development, KPMG, which is partnering with the State in this initiative.

SkillTech University will have a strong industry and academic collaborations to offer highly relevant skill training to target students. The initial funding and patronage will be provided by the State government. It will offer deep industry engagement; technology-led and future skills focussed learning; up-to-date curricula in line with evolving industry requirements and flexible learning experience, he said.

SkillTech University will follow community learning via Internet-based social groups and participation of international experts and enthusiasts. There will be simulators for practical exposure and fulfilment centres with industry tie-ups for the shop floor experience.

There will also be AI-enabled career counselling for learners to formulate multiple and choose optional career paths, he said. SkillTech will have courses on automotive, power, manufacturing, health care and construction.

The mode of delivery will be through a web portal, (for online classes on scheduled date and time); mobile app (online material, videos or notes and discussion forums and progress monitoring); emails (1:1 double clearing session with assigned mentor and social groups) and video/live sessions (online assessments, live projects and certification), he said.

Tamil Nadu Industry Secretary N Muruganandam said that in 2019 the Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation and PWC did a skill gap assessment, which showed that there is a requirement of 32.8 lakh skilled and semi-skilled workers for the industry till 2025. However, the supply will be 16.7 lakh workers. There is a likely gap of nearly 16 lakh workers, the report said.

The study also found that nearly 50 per cent of the workforce are either unskilled or semi-skilled. Communication and language skills were found inadequate especially in the IT industry and service sector. Students who came out of colleges were lacking soft skills, he said.

SkillTech University is the need of the hour, and can be a great force multiplier. The need for hands-on training and industry internships is important. Otherwise, students who come out of online courses would be like those passing out from open universities without much exposure to actual industries, he said.

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Published on September 16, 2020
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