by Brother Sheldon Dias
CHINCHWAD, DEC 5, 2015: After the successful completion of the three-month long Vocational Education and Training (VET) programme, the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), Pune in collaboration with Don Bosco Private Industrial Technical Training Institute, Chinchwad launched its first one-year long VETnet programme on December 1.
The aim of the new initiative is to provide both countries with a win-win situation in workforce employment. The initiative will help German companies in India meet their need for qualified workers and establish themselves effectively in a highly competitive market like India, while Indian workforce will profit from the expert know-how of German Vocational Education and Training. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and supported by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK).
Several dignitaries from the German government and representative companies from India and Germany were present at the inauguration programme. The event began with a welcome note by Dr Sabine Donauer from BMBF, followed by the introductory welcome messages by Peter Deubet, Deputy Director General, IGCC and Father Corlis Gonsalves of Don Bosco Private Industrial Technical Training Institute. They highlighted the role played by IGCC, Don Bosco and the German Government in promotion of vocational education and training among Indian students.
Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of the Mumbai Province, then elaborated on the history of Don Bosco training institutes from Italy to around the globe, as one of the leaders in vocational education and training. Thereafter, Frank Hoffman, Senior Manager, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Pune briefed the audience about the VETnet project. He highlighted the support provided by the sponsor companies, German government and role of Don Bosco which led to the successful completion of their first pilot project.
To highlight the achievements of the training programme, a live interview session was held between Alexander Ley, Senior Manager- Design & Engineering, BPW Trailer Systems India Pvt Ltd- one of the participating companies and Alfred Ramsey, VETnet apprentice. Ley questioned Ramsey on several aspects of the VETnet training programme. It was an interesting exchange that helped the audience understand the projects' implementation and durability.
The interview was followed by a panel discussion on the topic 'Skill India to Make in India' with heads of three participating companies, namely Mubea India, Bharat Forge & Schmersal participating. V K Shukla from Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India and Juergen Maennicke of iMOVE took part in the discussion, which was moderated by Maren Verfürth from Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Germany.
Several interesting points, regarding vocational education and training in India, were raised and highlighted during the discussion. Among them was the scope for expanding the reach of the programme to all the German companies - currently numbered around 300- based in Pune and the likelihood of the VETnet project being accredited by the Government of India.
It was also highlighted that German companies could identify more VET areas, come together to work on a common entrance exam and the requirement of increased investment by the German government to make this a successful venture. Even the possibility of making use of Government of India's Public-Private Partnership model (PPP) in vocational education sector was mentioned.
The speakers also addressed the cost effectiveness of Vocational Education and Training programmes in helping the Indian workforce secure more jobs. They stressed on the need for support required by the Government of India for such endeavours. The project will help young apprentices to emerge as role models for the future generation and it will promote competence and optimism among the youth.
Dr Sabine Donauer, Dr Juergen Wuttke, K Shukla and Father Corlis Gonsalves gave each apprentice their overall, after the discussion ended. Wuttke, the Head of Social and Labour Affairs, Vocational Education and Training, German Embassy, New Delhi raised the vote of thanks by showing gratitude to the associate companies, IGCC and the dignitaries present.
He appreciated the views of the panellist's and also stressed the need for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to be viewed as an important dimension of VETnet supported by German companies in India. The event was concluded with lunch and a tour of the training workshop at Don Bosco Chinchwad.