Bangalore: India’s third largest computer services company, Wipro Ltd, has begun a structured learning programme for over 10,000 teachers (to be covered over four years) to impart soft skills and methods to help increase employability of the engineering students graduating out of colleges.
Mission10X, the five-day intensive course will help the faculty of diploma and engineering colleges acquire behavioural skills and knowledge required by industry, which they will put in to practice to ensure their students are better trained.
India currently has 347 institutes of higher education and 16,885 colleges, with a total enrolment of over 9.9 million students. These produce 495,000 technical graduates, nearly 2.3 million other graduates and more than 300,000 post-graduates every year.
More than 1 lakh teachers are employed in the 1,600 technical and engineering institutions in the country.
But less than one-fourth of the technical graduates are employable by the industry, which includes the largely export intensive software sector.
“The talent that comes out of colleges should be much better in terms of employability,” said Azim Premji, the billionaire chairman of Wipro.
India’s emergence as a preferred outsourcing destination has created the need for about 2.3 million professionals by 2010. Based on current estimates, a shortage of half a million skilled knowledge workers may arise if remedial action is not taken, said National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the industry lobby in a recent report.
The Wipro initiative was targeted at improving the quality of technical talent pool and involves a total investment of $5 million (Rs2.05 crore).
Analysts say the move is the largest attempt by an Indian company to address issues of employability, but called for a concerted national effort. “It is too large an issue that could be handled by handful of companies. But the effort is good,” said Madan Padaki, co-founder and director, MeritTrac Services, a Bangalore-based firm.