“Along with the qualification they are getting real time industrial experience that makes them productive from day one and it is also giving the industry what they need,” says Prof. (Dr.) Avani Umatt, Provost, TeamLease Skills University, Vadodara in an interview with Chandan Anand, Founding Editor, ArdorComm Media Group at the ‘ArdorComm New Normal – Education Leadership Summit & Awards 2022’ #ELSAGujarat #ELSAAhmedabad
We would like to have some more light on what TeamLease Skills University is actually doing?
So, TeamLease Skills University is India’s first skills University and it was established as a public private partnership with the government of Gujarat and the motto of the university is putting India to work. So, what we are focusing on is making our students readily employable with the required skill sets that is required by the industry so we have a very close bond with the industry to understand their needs and to ensure that what we are giving as a part of education meets the needs of the industry. So, we basically focus on three E’s one is the education, education which will cater to the requirement of the domain skills and the practical skills that are required. Employability which is the major gap between education and employment so we focus on ensuring that the candidates get all the employability skills that are required to be readily absorbed and to be productive from day one and the third is employment to ensure that the candidates that have moved out from our University are employable and productive from day one. So, this is what we are working around and we work on a different model where we have a four classroom four qualification corridor where we look at the four classrooms is on campus, on-site, on job training and online and the four qualification that we look are, look at our certificate, diploma, advanced diploma and degree. We acknowledge that every candidate and we emphasize that every candidate goes through on job training to give them so that is one compulsory classroom so the rest of the programs may be offered in a combination of minimum of two or more classrooms where on job training is one of the mandatory classrooms and recognizing that we need to have a provision for lifelong learning. We look at a lot of upskilling also it is not only skilling but we’re also looking at the adult learner on the job who needs upskilling as well so we have a variety of models or variety of programs divided into our regular campus programs, work integrated learning programs and work-based learning programs. The work integrated learning program which forms a majority of our strength is focusing on the apprenticeship model where we have apprentices that are enrolled into higher education. So, along with the qualification they are getting real time industrial experience that makes them productive from day one and it is also giving the industry what they need, trained by the industry partially to ensure that their needs are met.
As we have all gathered today in New Normal Education Leadership Summit and Awards, what does new normal for you stand?
I think new normal is a word which has been coined after the pandemic but new normal is something that every institute, higher education institute and industry faces every day because of the changing technology, because of the pace at which industry is also changing the requirements are changing. Catering to the needs of the industry is what is the new normal. You have to accept that technology has become a major part of everybody’s life be it the student, be it the employer, be it any of the stakeholders of Education which I personally consider, the student the parent the industry the society, government all of these are the important stakeholders of education and society as a large. So, the New Normal doesn’t only affect a Higher Education Institute it also affects every single one of the stakeholders. So, you have to be in touch with reality understand what is happening in the outside world to incorporate it back into the education and to ensure that our youth is ready for the challenge that they are set out to face the moment they set step out of a sheltered education organization or institution into the real world. So, new normal is a changing every day.
What has been the outcome of today’s symposium for you?
I think this is a wonderful platform, ArdorComm Media has really taken pain to get the various stakeholders together to have good deliberations where we have been able to understand what other higher education institutes think, what challenges we face and when one or one Institute comes out with a possible solution then the same thing is replicated or can be taken up by other organizations without having to wait for them to face that difficulty. So, you are providing a lot of solutions, this platform has provided excellent networking for the various stakeholders and that is what is needed today. It’s not about now having your own ideas only it’s about being able to learn from other people’s experience and innovate to take your own organization to an elevated state. So, I think it’s a wonderful initiative and I’d like to congratulate the entire team on this initiative.