As many as 92% of universities and higher education institutes (HEIs) believe that degree apprenticeships equip students better to meet the demands of the evolving workforce than regular degrees, says a latest report by TeamLease Edtech.
The report, “Future of Apprenticeship in India”, further suggests that the apprenticeship model equips the students with basic work experience and essential soft skills, thus making them more employable.
The study highlights how apprenticeships are creating higher value for students as they go through the learning curve. 62% of the respondents stated that apprenticeships have created a sustainable cycle of learning by enabling students to earn while they learn. This would go a long way in improving the gross enrollment ratios (GER) of the country by boosting the demand side.
“In India, we have a major skills crisis. There are close to 1.2 crore students who graduate every year, but only 35% of these students are actually employable enough to join the industry. Over the past few years, degree apprenticeships have emerged as a solution to this skill crisis. HEIs in India strongly believe that apprenticeship embedded degrees are proving to be more beneficial for students. In fact, as our survey indicates, 79% universities and HEIs feel such programs provide practical hands-on skills to students making them job ready as they enter the workforce; additionally, 71% feel that students learn the nuances of the corporate world better through such programs,” said Shantanu Rooj, founder and CEO, TeamLease EdTech.
Further deep diving into the ecosystem, the report also highlights that degree apprenticeships are also helping to address the issue of dropping GER in higher education institutes.
“We have glaring dropout rates! Between 10th grade to university education, close to 55% students drop out of the learning ecosystem every year. Degree apprenticeships, with ‘Earning while Learning’ embedded inside, are proving to be a credible option to address this challenge. Incidentally, as our survey highlights - 93% of universities and HEIs expressed that degree apprenticeships can aid in increasing the GER and help achieve the GER target set in the National Education Policy 2020. This will really move the needle in education and better prepare students for the future,” said Neeti Sharma, co-founder and president, TeamLease EdTech.
The National Education Policy 2020 has also set the foundation for more universities to come forward and launch degree apprenticeship programs. With only 4-5 universities offering degree apprenticeships in India today, there are close to 63,000 active degree apprentices currently.
With more universities coming forward, the pool of employable apprenticeship aspirants is going to significantly increase. This will complement the rising demand for the apprentices in the industry (according to the recent Apprenticeship Hiring Outlook Report by NETAP from TeamLease Skills University, 72% of employers are keen to hire apprentice in H1 2022 itself).
According to the findings of this study, 70% of universities and HEIs believe that with the introduction of new degree apprenticeship programmes and a significant increase in the demand for hiring apprentices, India will have more than 10 million apprentices in the next five years.