BTech must be the buzzword among school pass-outs, but when it comes to securing jobs, ITI courses seem to be far ahead of others. An increasing demand for ITI diploma holders in the burgeoning industries on the one side and the decline in the number of students taking to blue-collared jobs are said to be the reasons.
“There are a number of companies in the growing automobile industry that are looking for ITI diploma holders. But there is an acute shortage for them. In fact even while we have a large number of BTech candidates on the one side looking for jobs, on the other there are a large number of companies which are looking for ITI diploma holders. Even in the government sector the problem persists. For instance, the KSRTC’s workshop in Aluva is unable to fill about 25 vacancies,” said district employment officer M N Prabhakaran.
In fact several companies are taking to tie-ups with ITIs by providing them with infrastructure and training, and then drawing them into service. The Kalamassery ITI has a tie-up with the German Automobile Manufacturer Volkswagen.
“One batch of the training is completed. We are now to start the next batch. After the completion of the training periods, the students are provided certificates and also openings in the company. Some of our students have already been absorbed as trainees in the company,” said a faculty from the Kalamassery ITI.
Similarly, electronics and engineering company Borsche is now in talks with the Kalamassery Polytechnic College for a joint skill development project. Here too the students would be provided with additional certificates after the training which would be internationally valid, said a senior faculty from the college.
But despite all these, students are reluctant to take up the jobs, says the faculty. “Despite the demand many ITI students, even after completing the course, hesitate to pursue these jobs. Many take to jobs like that of a salesman or work in small companies which offer white-collar jobs. This is even when some of the salaries for the ITI jobs are higher. But as individual institutions we are hardly able to do anything to change the scenario,” said the faculty.
Another reason is that many of them manage to find jobs at a higher salary by taking to individual jobs rather than by joining companies. “Since there is always a demand for jobs like that of the electrician and the mechanic, many students manage to find daily jobs by taking assignments in and around their houses that fetch some high income. Besides, it also gives them more flexibility and convenience than that of a job far away in the city. All of which adds to the dwindling availability of the diploma holders,” said the employment officer.