July 27, 2006

Only 15% BE students job-fit

By Mathang Seshagiri/TNN

Bangalore: Raising serious doubts over the employability of engineering graduates in the state, results of the first-ever skills assessment test carried out by the Visvesvaraya Technological University and Meri-Trac showed that only 15% of students were fit to be employed.
Of the 4,400 final-year BE students from 89 colleges who took the skill assessment test in the first phase, only 39% of them could match the selection criteria in verbal ability. About 50% of the candidates failed the English communication test.
In all, only 29% met the selection criteria in all sections of the abilities test.
“As this is the first of such exercises, the results are very encouraging. There aren’t any non-bridgeable gaps. In fact, by introducing auxiliary courses in communication skills and English we could improve the employability of students. There’s a need for greater awareness and exposure among students on what the industry expects of them,’’ said Madan Padki, co-founder, MeriTrac, which designed the test based on industry expectations.
On the positive side, 63% of the candidates passed the analytical abilities test while 83% sailed through the attention to detail test. The conversion rate was better among Bangalore colleges (30%) when compared with colleges which is at 13%.
As a remedial measure, VTU has made Functional English a mandatory subject for BE students and is also beaming classes on soft skills via Edusat. “If you look at the results closely, you will see that students have done exceedingly well in terms of analytical skills and attention to detail. Verbal communication and English are the low areas. This is largely because 50% of the students come from rural areas where the medium of instruction is vernacular. We plan to set up language labs in all colleges from next year to focus on communication skills,’’ VTU vice-chancellor Balaveera Reddy said.
VTU will hold a job mela on July 30-31 for 1,000 candidates who have cleared the test. “Seven companies including Accenture, Tesco and SAP Labs, are looking to hire 600 graduates during the mela,’’ said Padki.

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