I’ve just spent some time in India. The educational system is india is large and varied – it includes state provision and much private provision. the system is ‘good’if you measure it in terms of knowledge transfered from tutors to learners – Indian students know lots of stuff and can regurgitate it in examinations However, India graduates are often considered unemployable – because they can’t ‘do stuff’ – they have few practical skills … or soft skills come to that.

India needs to provide these skills if its economy is to continue to grow. Of course employers will, as now, provide remedial training – but India needs its graduates to ‘hit the ground running’ and maximise the ways in which they can exploit their considerable knowledge by applying it in creative ways.

In the medium term, India needs to develop a vocational education and training system that provides industry with the skills it needs. It knows this and is currently finishing a process of establishing sector skills councils – adopting a model similar to the UK model.

Time will tell whether these SSCs can help change the focus – so that vocational skills are recognised and valued. This requires a cultural change as well as technical changes… and requires industry to pay for vocational skills so that young people can see the sense in adopting a skills-based approach to their personal development.

I wish India well – watch this space and in a few years i hope I have good news to report.