Internationalization of Training Programmes Has Become the New Normal

Internationalization of training programmes for industrial skills, has now become a key theme of debate in the skills landscape and is being demarcated as the change needed to place the understanding and aspirations of students and employees in an international context.

Especially given the evolution of the international job market and strengthening bilateral ties, skilling to meet international standards has gained huge prominence in India. There is an increasing inclination towards various practices like exchange of faculties, credit transfers, benchmarking of courses, training of trainers or introduction of new curriculum. Internationalization of training programmes has become the new normal.

Ensuring that the curriculum content reflects an international milieu for teaching and research is progressively important. Adoption of international best practices and learning in an internationalized atmosphere has the potential to influence the learner’s experience in numerous ways, including: benefitting from an enriched curriculum that includes international outlook; studying with an increasingly diverse unit and developing inter-cultural capabilities through classroom and supplementary activities. Agreat opportunity for Indian skills ecosystem lies in using the experience of international learners and learning techniques to add a unique element in the skill curriculum.

Interestingly, ‘Internationalization of Training Programmes’ is not just a trend but the need of the hour. Going forward and keeping the Indian industrial perspectives in mind, every organization will need to adopt new technologies and practices to remain competitive and continue to tread a growth path.

Unceasing employee development is vital for businesses to future-proof their organizations. New applications and tools continue to jiggle up the way businesses are run. Ensuring your employees have the expertise, as well as the mindset, to adapt and continue to perform in this ever-changing environment is imperative. Employees need to feel supported by and committed to their organizations and be confident that they can do their jobs now and in the future.

Some organizations have already started feeling the heat owing to shortage of manpower with specialized skills, which has further triggered the demand. Well, according to me cohesive learning through industrial training coupled with international best practices is an answer to the burning question of how to bridge the gap between what Industry wants and what technical institutions offer, especially in wake of automation. Interestingly, in the present-day context, internationalization is not simply about international mobility. It is about integration of teaching, learning and research dimension. This can be achieved by providing internationally recognized degrees, counselling services, language courses and initiatives channelized between host institutions / organizations and the sending countries.

While in India the concept is still at a nascent stage but the practice seems to be gathering a strong foothold and is certainly here to stay. International curriculums, however, come at a premium given their very framework. Especially, when we talk about technical skills and not just core academics. So how do we cater to the concern of affordability? The only plausible, immediate and most pragmatic solution to my mind is greater Industry support. Adoption of international technical skills need to be seen as an investment to fulfil the requirements of future skill sets. This is a regular feature in case of MNCs operating out of India and they bring in the international expertise by either inviting trainers from their parent organization located outside India or send Indian staff to get trained. Either ways it results in building competitiveness.

Automation is a reality and while MSMEs will still take some time to experience its impact, large organizations with a considerable technical wireframe need to be the first and fast movers. They need to revisit their training fund allocations and plan it smart. One of the most critical threads in this entire overhaul will be the end employees. It is extremely important to bring them on board and help them see the benefit these international trainings can usher in – both as individuals and from an organizational perspective at large. There are a number of examples of how internationalization of training programmes has already made a headway in India. Some of these are Maruti Suzuki Training Academy in Haryana, Toyota Training Institute in Bidadi, Bosch Vocational Training Institute in Bangalore among others. While these are organizations who have gone ahead and set up stand-alone training units within their plant premises, there are a number of players in the service industry who are doing the same by either sending students abroad or inviting international faculty to India.

Government of India, on the other hand, is also taking pragmatic steps in this regard. The success of Indo-Japan Technical Intern Training Programme is one such example, wherein, interns from Indian will complete their internship in Japan and bring home international expertise. Similar programmes can be initiated with other countries to ensure structured exchange of best practices and learnings.

Whatever be the modus operandi – result is creation of a skilled talent pool, sensitive to the needs of international way of working and geared to serve both global and local markets alike.

Internationalization of Training Programmes is not merely a best practice, which needs to be adopted, it calls for a complete shift of outlook – both from perspective of employers and employees.

Written by

Arun Nanda

Chairman, CII National Committee on Skill Development & Chairman, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts


Image Source: By Zahovaev K\

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