As part of the ITI Ecosystem Summit, Tamil Nadu, Principals, Placement Officers, and Learners from Government ITIs were recognized for their efforts towards addressing challenges of youth employability in the skilling ecosystem.

The Criterion for Recognition of Principals

The Principal Leadership Program, an initiative to work closely with institutional leaders of Government Industrial Training Institutes to bring systemic reform, was piloted in Tamil Nadu in 2022. Principals underwent an eight-month-long program where their leadership skills were sharpened. They were equipped with skills to strengthen institutional culture and to create an inclusive environment of growth both for trainers and learners.

As part of this program, principals were encouraged to undertake Change Projects, which they would ideate, conceptualize and implement at their Industrial Training Institutes. 

Meet the six principals, who have been agents of change in their ITIs:

Prem Kumar N, Govt. ITI, Thindivanam

With a dream of making his ITI a student hub, Prem Kumar encouraged learners to form committees to lead the functioning of the ITI. “Student-led holistic learning allows them to be an active part of the ITI and build leadership skills”, he says. He also calendarised events at his ITI where on the 10th of every month, a guest lecture would be organised; on the 20th, an industrial visit and on the 30th, a cultural or sports event. Through this effort, the learners are committed to learning and developing leadership and management skills along the way.

Johnbasha A, Govt. ITI, Andimadam

With a catchy title – Super-wiser-32, which is an identifier for the 32 students who showcase innovative projects from each of the 16 departmental units of the ITI every month, Johnbasha aimed to improve the quality of learning and to ensure that the students get all-around development. Each month one learner is given a prize for their innovation, which motivates the others to perform better. Committees to improve their skills, sports activities have also been constituted.

Anbalagan M., Govt. ITI, Tiruppur

The dropout rate at the ITI, situated in the textile hub of Tamil Nadu, was high as learners with no career plans chose daily-wage labour. Anbalagan organised meetings with learners’ parents to create awareness about ITIs and offered it as a viable higher-education option. He also invited students from government schools to visit the ITI and understand the courses offered and potential job opportunities.

R. Kalaiselvi, Govt. ITI Dindigul

Kalaiselvi identified that behavioral skills formed the bedrock of a learner’s career journey. Organized motivational talks and guest lectures from experts in the industry and, through them, aimed to address learners’ attitudes, communication skills and mindsets. For technical skills, the principal sought guidance from the industries, while for motivation and encouragement, officials from social welfare trusts, arts colleges, including professors helped them. Last year, their dropout rate was 12%, and this year it has reduced to 5%.

Shanthy K., Govt. ITI, Thiruvanmiyur

The learners of government ITI, Thiruvanmiyur needed to be motivated to perform to their fullest potential, believed Shanthy. The facilities available at the ITI needed to be on par with other higher education institutions. She encouraged learners to use their creativity and innovatively problem-solve real-life problems. She also encouraged them to play sports and provided equipment for both indoor and outdoor games. These efforts have reduced attrition rates and created a learning environment for the students to thrive.

Pandidurai N. Govt. ITI, Orathanadu

The learners at Orathanadu were hesitant to go to work, Pandidurai noticed. Through his change project, he sought to address this challenge by involving the parents of the learners. The parents were invited to understand their children’s job roles and create awareness of the importance of careers. In this way, learners were motivated to join the workforce. 

Capacity Building of Placement Officers: Addressing challenges of youth employability in ITIs in Tamil Nadu

A placement officer plays a crucial role in identifying job opportunities for learners by liaising with reputed firms and industrial establishments. They work round the year, making efforts to bridge the industry-skills gap that exists among learners and dedicate time to understanding youth aspirations. Placement Officers in Tamil Nadu have worked hard to maintain cordial relationships with industries to ensure that the learners are placed in organizations that not only pay them well but also treat them well. 

We have also supported POs by conducting capacity-building workshops with them which have led them to develop creative placement strategies like placement week and employer recognition events to address the challenges of youth employability.

Meet some of our star placement officers spearheading innovations in the state: 

Palani T, Govt. ITI, Ambasamudram

Organized a placement week with one company coming in hire candidates every day of the week. Learners had the opportunity to interview for six companies and be better prepared as the initiative didn’t restrict placements to just one day like in a traditional job-drive event. 

Muruganandam KP, Govt. ITI, Coimbatore

Engaged the Institute Management Committees regularly on placement-related initiatives and ensured that representatives from Industry conducted trade-specific sessions to help learners understand market realities. Additionally, he also conducted sessions on self-employment to build an entrepreneurial mindset amongst learners.

Kavita S, Govt. ITI, Tindivanam.

Conducted sessions on the poverty circle to help learners understand the concept of privilege and come up with solutions to mitigate their realities. This exercise also motivated learners to look at employment as an opportunity to break the poverty cycle and bring in intergenerational well-being.

Kalaivani P, Govt. ITI, Hosur

Counseling learners about the importance of work experience in building a career and encouraged them to stay in a company for at least one year to find better prospects in the next job. Additionally, she also conceptualized a recognition event for employers led by the Institute Management Committee to acknowledge their role in placing students from ITIs regularly and training them.

Srinivasan M, Govt. ITI, Erode

Maintained a database of placed learners and tracked them up to a year. He was also instrumental in reaching out to employers and giving them information about job drives en masse by using the broadcast list feature on WhatsApp. Additionally, he conducted sessions with learners on labour laws and built awareness about their rights as employees.

Krishnan S, Govt. ITI, Pudukottai

Organized Industry visits to help learners understand workplace realities. These visits also motivated learners to take up apprenticeships and the ITI saw 98% of the learners opting for apprenticeships in 2022.

Amruta Selvi Margaret, Govt. ITI, Karumandurai

Realized the need for role modelling to motivate learners to take up employment, to this effect, began displaying the information about placed candidates on the notice board so that learners are inspired by their peers. Additionally, counselled learners about the benefits of building a strong resume by working in the same sector for a considerable period of time.

Vasan Babu J, Govt. ITI Madurai 

Conducted employer visits to the ITI campus to motivate students to join the workforce. He also maintained a good rapport with employers by organizing campus interviews and mock interviews. Additionally, he also counselled learners on the importance of On Job Training (OJT) and directly followed up with learners to inform them of placement opportunities.

A. Suganthan, Govt ITI, Chengalpattu

Started dual courses in three trades to help students gain insights into the industry while studying. He also organized guest lectures with HRs and employers to create awareness about job opportunities among students. In order to help retention of students within the industry, he identified top companies, which provided a higher salary to students, and helped them secure jobs there.

Learner Recognition Event: Encouraging Self-Learning to prepare for the world of work

As youth in India look to carve out meaningful career pathways for themselves, their
learning journeys today must be in sync with the challenges that the future of work
and employability will bring. Technology-enabled self-learning is key to meaningful and empowered futures, and learners who embody the skill can easily navigate the job market.

Our learners in Tamil Nadu took part in a state-wide ‘Learner Recognition Event,’ where they learned Employability Skills on the Quest App, undertook an activity to identify jobs through a market scan and took part in a quiz. Seven of them scored the highest and have
emerged as winners, meet them:

Veerasekar, A, Govt. ITI, Tindivanam

Veerasekhar hails from a middle-class family in Tindivanam and is grateful for the support he has received in his learning journey. He has completed the entire Quest App toolkit as he found that watching videos rather than reading made learning easy. He now has confidence about his career path, knows how to prepare for an interview and has great communication skills. He says, “I am proud of my ‘I can do it’ spirit and believe that I am ready to enter the world of work.”

T Karthick, Govt. ITI, Thiruppur

Karthick traveled 50kms up and down to the ITI from his home and he made the most of his travel time by completing lessons on the Quest App. The market scan helped him gain insights into the workplace and potential job opportunities. After the Learners’ Recognition Event, Karthick is more confident about his communication skills and gives an interview. He believes that even after entering the world of work, the learning never ends and that is important for career development and growth.

K Kathiresa Pandiyan, Govt. ITI, Sattur 

Kathiresa finds the Interview Skills lesson on QuestApp the most interesting and found the videos a very effective way of learning. He says, “At first I used to use my phone only for games and such, but now I am using it for learning and gaining knowledge.” Through various activities like market scan and exposure visits, Kathiresa became aware of the various job opportunities in the market and now is prepared to enter the world of work with the apt skills.

B. Deepak, Govt. ITI, Needamanagalam

Deepak has always been a self-learner. After giving up his education for two years, Deepak was determined to continue learning and worked on weekends to save money to study. He found the Digital Skills course the most interesting and is excited to put those skills to use to secure a job and work hard to support his family.

M. Shenbagapriya, Govt. (W) ITI, Madurai

Shenbagapriya restarted her learning journey after working and pursued her passion for fashion designing. The journey has been eye-opening for her and she plans to start her own business someday. Customer Interaction, Communication Skills and Ethics and Values are subjects she looked forward to learning on the QuestApp. She is confident about entering the world of work and knows what it entails and believes in going the extra mile to be successful.

Lokesh, Govt ITI, Thiruvanmiyur

As part of the Learners’ Recognition Event, Lokesh realized the importance of job placements and through the market scan activity he was able to approach employers and inquire about potential job opportunities. He particularly liked the Digital Skills content on QuestApp and believes his communication skills have improved. He plans to start a business of his own someday and hopes to take forward his learnings to others too.

Ezhilmathy, Govt. ITI, Kolli Hills

Ezhilmathy does it all – being a learner, mother and wife. Despite having poor network in the hilly areas of her home, she completed all lessons on the QuestApp and also clarified her classmates’ doubts. She is passionate about sewing technology and design and wishes to start her own business. She believes that self-learning increases confidence and is grateful for the skills she learnt that will help her in her work.