IT training to varsity students soon

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai, Sep 7 | Updated: Sep 8 2008, 07:14am hrs
Indias IT lobby is roping in colleges to mould suitable boys and girls for the sector. Come October, the National Association of Software & Services Companies (Nasscom) is starting a vocational training model at Indian universities, beginning with Pune University. The model replicates the practices in like Germany and Brazil, which have set certain benchmarks in IT and BPO training, says Ganesh Natarajan, chairman, Nasscom. We first want to test this model in Maharashtra and then scale this initiative 10-fold by going to cities like Lucknow, Bhopal and Mohali and north-eastern cities, Natarajan adds.

The initiative, beginning just when the IT industry is scaling back hiring targets, comes as reassuring news about the sectors future employment outlook.

Germany and Brazil follow a dual-education system, in which a degree student simultaneously gets vocational training, largely funded by the government and supported by industry and chambers of commerce. Nasscom, along with a large e-learning company and a technology company, has formed a consortium to bring vocational training to about 30,000 degree students of Pune University, says Natarajan. The training will impart professional IT & BPO skills in insurance, retail, hospitality and others.

We have identified about 30 areas of specialisation and we expect at least 10% of the total three lakh students of the university to have the right attitude and aptitude for the programme, he adds. The e-learning and training companies would charge a nominal fee, while the university will provide space for running the programme. Nasscom will facilitate aptitude tests of the students and thus help identify right candidates for training.

The vocational training would cost a student about Rs 6,000-7,000 a year and scholarships would be available for those who cannot afford it.

Natarajan, who is also the deputy chairman & managing director of Zensar Technologies, said the industry is largely looking at absorbing freshers to cut costs. He said the current practice of IT companies giving a six-month training to freshers is not going to upscale productivity and, there is a huge need to scale up this initiative.