ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Swiss-Style Apprenticeship in an Indian Context

A pilot project in 2009 attempted to introduce the highly successful Swiss system of apprenticeship in India. Examining the key ingredients for success in such a system, this note highlights the cultural and institutional challenges it faces in the Indian context. These in India include an emphasis on theoretical relative to practical knowledge, highly structured hierarchies on the shop fl oor and a lack of incentives for the participating Industrial Training Institutes. In addition, the apprenticeship paradigm requires strong cooperation between the state, industrial associations and participating companies as well as a corporate mindset that recognises that effective apprentices cannot be bought off the market but require nurturing on the shop fl oor.

In the 2012-13 budget, Rs 1,000 crore have been assigned to the National Skill Development Fund, which in turn is contributing the sum to the ­National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). This is big money, but also a big task, as in the next 10 years, the NSDC is expected to train 620 million people.1 The task requires not only money but also study and ­debate about the nature of the mission and ways to achieve it. But surprisingly, i­ssues concerning ­Vocational Education and Training (VET) are not paid scholarly attention. Little has been published on the subject, ­including in this journal.

A Model for VET

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