In today’s economy, vocational jobs are becoming more and more important. This is why vocational education programs are popular. Vocational education training provides career and technical education to interested students. Vocational Education refers to a system or course of study which prepares individuals for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities. 

Vocational Education in India
Vocational Education in India

Vocational Education is traditionally non-academic in nature and is totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation. Because it is Vocation based, it is called Vocational Education.

Vocational education is also known as career and technical education enables students to gain specialized skills and training in various fields such as trade, craft, or technical fields. Vocational education involves less academic learning and basically focuses on manual or practical activities and training. The students develop expertise in specific techniques or technology. It is sometimes referred to as technical education because the trainee directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques. Vocational education is related to the age-old apprenticeship system of learning. In other words, Vocational Education may be classified as teaching procedural knowledge.

Vocational training in India-

  • In India, we believe that education is the key to the task of nation-building. Vocational training in India is provided on a full-time as well as part-time basis. Full-time programs are generally offered through I.T.I.s Industrial training institutes. Part-time programs are offered through state technical education boards or universities who also offer full-time courses. 
  • The technical and vocational education and training system (TVET) in India develops human resource through a three-tier system:
  1. Graduate and post-graduate level specialists (e.g. IITs, NITs, and engineering colleges) trained as engineers and technologists.
  2. Diploma-level graduates who are trained at Polytechnics as technicians and supervisors.
  3. Certificate-level for higher secondary students in the vocational stream and craft people trained in ITIs as well as through formal apprenticeships as semiskilled and skilled workers. 
  • In India, vocational skills come under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. The National Skills Qualification Framework was launched in December 2013 to the standards and cost of the training to be provided.
  • On July 15, 2015, the Government of India launched the first Skill India Development Mission through Public-Private Partnership.

‘Number of the person getting vocational training per thousand people age group-wise in India’

Source: NSSO Report No. 517 year 2004-05

Aims and Objectives of Vocational Education-

  1. To develop a healthy attitude among students towards work and life.
  2. To provide opportunities to fulfill the needs of women, rural and tribal students, and the deprived sections of society.
  3. To prepare students for identified vocations spanning several areas of activity.
  4. Emphasis on vocational education will also be on the development of attitudes, knowledge, and skills for entrepreneurship and self-employment.
  5. To give opportunities for professional growth, career improvement, and lateral entry into courses of general, technical, and professional education through appropriate bridge courses.
  6. To help students understand the scientific and technological aspects of contemporary civilization.

Vocational Education & Skill Development in schools-

National Policy on Education, 1986 provides for Vocational Stream in the Higher Secondary Stage, and the curriculum is designed for about 150 courses. The capacity of one Million in tertiary education  Only about 5% of total student strength in Higher Secondary stage are in Vocational stream (Target under National Policy: 25%) The following figure shows the percentage stake of all major states, providing vocational training in India.

        Source: MHRD, Annual Report 2002-03, India Year Book 2008, Manpower profile

It is observed that states like Punjab, Orissa Tamil Nadu, etc. hold approximately 79% stake in the number of schools which impart vocational training. And Maharashtra is the foremost, holding more than 16%. Schools have an important role in vocational studies because one can start learning a vocation from his/her school days.

Paramedical training status for rural India:

Paramedical courses are one of the largest sources of vocationally educated persons in the field of the medical industry. Status of the total paramedical manpower in rural India is given in the following graph.

Source:  MHRD, Annual Report 2002-03, India Year Book 2008, Manpower profile

From the Figure above, it is clear that out of a total of 315,746 paramedical workers in rural India, 47% are female health workers. But extension workers are very few; almost 1%. 

How is Vocational Education Beneficial?

  • Vocational Education helps people in the better performance of their jobs as they acquire a great learning experience. Working professionals get a chance to hone their skills while making money.
  • Vocational education and training is a sort of introduction as it gets employees ready for the workplace which comes in handy while performing various tasks.
  • Vocational Education as the term itself denotes the students are specialized and therefore they have more chances of employment as compared to others.
  • Many students who are in a dilemma whether they should attend college or not, Vocational education really opens a completely new door.

Problems for Vocational Education Implementation- 

1. There is a high drop-out rate at Secondary level.

 2. Vocational Education is presently offered at Grade 11, 12th .

 3. Private & Industry Participation is lacking.

 4. Less number of Vocational Institutes in the country.

 5. Not adequate number of trained faculty.

 6. Vocationalization at all levels has not been successful. 

7. Lacking new sectors of vocational education and skills training.

 8. Acute shortage of skilled instructors and teachers in the country.  

‘Percentage  of persons who received vocational training in Rural India (per thousand people) (duration of training-wise)’


The vocational education ecosystem in its current form has not succeeded in creating adequate employable job seekers in India as more than 60 percent of candidates and employers find these courses ineffective. The survey revealed that primary reasons for the disconnect between vocational education courses and the industry is the absence of rich academic content, inadequate funding, and negative perception about these courses. Another key issue is the lack of awareness about these courses as well as the lack of scope for continued learning, it added.

Vocational Education strengthens any country’s employment and the same way its economy. India being a developing world has come a long way to enhance and implement Vocational Education.  

REFERENCES-  Economic Times, MHRD portal, India Today

Article by – Avantika Pandey, Intern

Edited by- Shweta Mittal, team SciComm

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