World Bank invests in India’s drive to boost vocational training

6 Mar 17

The World Bank has committed $125m to improving vocational training and apprenticeships in India.

Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement Operation (STRIVE) is a five-year government programme focused on India’s industrial training institutes (ITIs), updating and improving the quality of teaching and learning and broadening apprenticeship opportunities, particularly for India’s poorest people and women.

“Expanding and improving formal long-term skills is essential for India to create a globally competitive workforce,” said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank country director in India.

“This programme will also focus on inclusion, by providing greater opportunities for India’s youth, particularly women and underserved communities.” 

There are more than 13,000 ITIs across India and they represent the largest network of training providers in the country. However, the World Bank said they struggle to adjust to increasingly dynamic industry demands.

The STRIVE programme seeks to modernise training and expand opportunities for young people and, particularly, women. Less than third (31%) of Indian women work and more than 50 million of the country’s young women are neither studying nor working and constitute less than 9% of enrolment in ITIs.

According to the World Bank, India needs to maximise the potential of its young population and expand its skilled workforce.

Muna Salih Meky, senior education specialist and the bank’s task team leader for the programme, said: “Research has shown that youth who undergo some form of formal training tend to earn nearly 18% more compared to those with only a grade 10 or a grade 12 education.

“Beyond the direct benefit for the trainee, the development of a globally competitive manufacturing sector requires a cadre of comprehensively skilled technicians.

“The programme is also expected to contribute to increased diversity and reduced inequities in the workforce.”

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