THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is an open secret that engineering graduates who pass out from even recognised institutions in the state are not fit for hiring. Now, the state government is in the process of launching a compulsory one-year internship programme for the graduates in private companies, both inside and outside the state, with a view to enhancing their trade skills in their respective disciplines, thereby, increasing their employability and making them competitive.
Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel said the project would be launched in association with the Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP). As part of the project, the state government will sign an MoU with leading private companies. This will make the students get formal knowledge about the functioning of the industry of their choice and it will also increase their chances in post-course interviews, he said.
Internship: ‘Move aimed at improving graduates’ standard’
Reetha S Prabha, CEO ASAP, told Express there is already a system of providing 150 hours of compulsory internship for engineering graduates and graduates from other arts and science colleges in collaboration with public sector units in the state. The list of the public sector companies was selected based on the tendering process. The new system to be launched would be an expanded version of the current system by including more competent private companies, for which the ASAP will open a portal, she said.
As part of the project, the students will be given internship training during the existing time frame of the engineering course. The students who reach the fourth or fifth semesters will have to undergo the mandatory internship programme, the completion of which is compulsory for passing the course, she said. The minister also said the department is planning to launch the project by the end of the current academic year.
Udayakumar K S, former secretary of the Kerala State Centre of Institution of Engineers (India) (IEI), which conducted a study on the standard of the engineering graduates who pass out from the state, said the state government’s decision to provide mandatory internship to engineering graduates is a good move aimed at improving the standard of graduates.
But there should be a mechanism to evaluate the competence of the students who undergo the training. Further, a government-level registration for engineering graduates should be made mandatory in the line of doctors, vets and other skilled professionals, which will certainly enhance the standard of engineering graduates in future, he said.
According to a study conducted by the IEI in 2015-16, there were 162 colleges in the state with a total capacity of 62,700 seats. Of the 41,191 students who enrolled in around 15 disciplines in the engineering courses, only 11,210 students could find jobs after completion of the course. As many as 30,000 candidates are rendered jobless even after the successful completion of the course. A latest survey is under way and there is nothing much to cheer other than that the number of engineering colleges and seats has come down from the 2015-16 figure, he said.