Vocational training programmes, India is one of those countries in the world wherein there’s a huge disparity between the privileged and the underprivileged classes. Even though the country offers free education and mid-day meals for children in schools, most families force children to work to make ends meet.
Therefore, it’s not uncommon to find child laborers in mines, quarries, restaurants, and hotels, and working as vendors in railway stations and on the roads and highways too.
The socioeconomic situation of a country in particular and the world at large can be expected to advance fairly well only if the health and welfare of its women and children are taken care of. Underprivileged classes form serious challenges to the security and stability of a society and show a nation’s development status in poor light.
With COVID 19 having taken the world by storm and leading to an economic crisis, uncertainties brought about in the workforce, particularly in the construction and trade sectors have pushed the middle and lower socioeconomic classes of our country into throes of desperation and starvation.
To top it all, with schools shut down, digital learning has deprived children from poor families of proper education.
Girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to suffer the most. Many of them take care of homes or are married off at an early age.
Vocational education helps women bridge this gap to some extent. Even if young girls were forced to drop out of school or haven’t had the fortune of pursuing higher education, vocational training helps adolescent girls and women realize their long-cherished dream of financial independence, contributing to the family’s needs and molding skills as per their aptitude and market needs.
In conditions where a woman ends up in an abusive relationship/marriage, or if the husband passes away, most of the time, she is left to fend for herself and the kids. Vocational training comes in handy for single mothers or forsaken women to find a means of livelihood.
It provides the answer for an adequate and appropriate support system to a large population of womenfolk, turning them into positive contributors towards the growth of the society and subsequently, the country.
The benefits of vocational training are many:
- To a certain extent, this initiative helps break the cycle of poverty by providing the underprivileged class a regular means of income.
- Not only does vocational training help women be self-reliant, but it would hugely boost their confidence and contribute to the growth of the individual, the family, and society at large.
- The positive environment of learning and development that is borne out of these initiatives would be exemplary for the next generation as well and help the children of these women understand the value of education for growth.
- Despite the unfavorable circumstances that many women were born/married into, vocational training provides them a platform to exhibit their caliber and revive their hopes for a better future.
- Vocational training initiatives provide a chance for society to lend whatever assistance it can to the needy and equip them to face life’s challenges.
There’s always a high demand for different kinds of skills in textile industries, factories, manufacturing units, and warehouses, not to mention IT fields, hospitals, catering businesses, and hospitality sectors.
The following is a list of vocational programmes worth mentioning for women empowerment, especially for the underprivileged:
- Textile sector:
Sewing, tailoring, weaving, and embroidery are in-demand skills, especially since India is one of the biggest producers and consumers of garments.
Training in these aspects would help women either open their own tailoring units or work in a team as in cottage industries.
- Aesthetic sector:
Training in hairdressing and beauty treatments has helped a lot of women find jobs in the cosmetological industry. Business in fashion and beauty care continues to grow at a very fast pace in our country. Therefore skills in these sectors would definitely help women thrive.
- Computer & IT:
It goes without saying that basic knowledge of computer and IT enhances employment opportunities in offices. There are lots of business enterprises, start-ups, and corporate firms that are on the lookout for an IT-skilled and technically knowledgeable workforce.
- Cooking & Catering:
It is only a matter of time before hotels, restaurants, small eateries, and catering businesses grow back into prominence. As the country eases restrictions post-COVID 19, those skilled in cooking and catering will again be a force to be reckoned with.
- Interior design, Arts & Crafts:
Those with creative skills, if properly trained, can earn a living as interior designers and artisans. As the present generation increasingly adopts sustainable living, it is heart-warming to find skilled people being appreciated for their artistry and aesthetics.
- Vocational instructor:
Those women who have had their training completed successfully in skills of their choice and gained ample experience in the field can themselves become instructors and share the knowledge of their expertise with other potential trainees.
- Office Secretary ship & Stenography
Women with good communication and presentation skills, computer knowledge, patience, and resilience, with an aptitude for quick learning, effective planning, and time management can easily rise in the ranks of the administrative sector of various companies by serving as reliable stenographers or secretaries.
- Auxiliary nursing, midwifery and paramedics:
Women with a flair for science and healthcare have ample job opportunities in nursing and paramedical services. COVID 19 has emphasized the relevance of frontline health workers in various capacities as medical assistants.
Apart from the programmes enlisted, a slew of novel vocational initiatives are expected to rise in the coming years and decades as various employment agencies increasingly seek skilled workers.
Incorporating soft skill development, along with vocational training, would also go a long way towards the personality enhancement of adolescent girls and women. Mastering soft skills instill self-confidence, promotes better communication, conflict resolution, and work accomplishment. With proper funding and protection laws for women pursuing vocational courses, government agencies and policymakers can accelerate the implementation of these training in every village and gram panchayat, thereby holding the beacon for women empowerment right from the grassroots level.