As per Government of India, Ministry of Labour & Employment launched a Modular Employable Skills (MES) under Skill Development Initiative (SDI) Scheme through Directorate General of Employment & Training in May 2007. Under this scheme, training to earlier school leavers and existing workers specially in a unorganized sector are to be trained for employable skills. In close consultation with industries/State Governments and expertise the scheme has been operationalized since 2007. A majority of Indian workforce does not possess marketable skills which is an impediment in getting decent employment and improving their economic condition. While India has large young population, only 5% of the Indian labour force in the age group of 20-24 years has obtained vocational skills through formal means whereas the percentage in industrialized countries varies between 60 % and 96%. About 63% of the school students drop out at different stages before reaching Class X. Only about 2.5 million vocational training seats are available in the country whereas about 12.8 million persons enter the labour market every year. Even out of these training places, very few are available for early school dropouts. This signifies that a large number of school drop outs do not have access to skill development for improving their employability. The educational entry requirements and long duration of courses of the formal training system are some of the impediments for a person of low educational attainment to acquire skills for his livelihood. Further, the largest share of new jobs in India is likely to come from the unorganized sector that employs up to 93 per cent of the national workforce, but most of the training programmes cater to the needs of the organized sector.
Vocational education is education within vocational schools that prepares people for a specific trade. It directly develops expertise in techniques related to technology, skill and scientific technique to span all aspects of the trade. Vocational education is classified as using procedural knowledge.
Generally known as Career and technical education (CTE) or Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) it prepares people for specific trades, crafts and careers at various levels from a trade, a craft, technician, or a high professional practitioner position in career's such as Engineering, Accountancy, Architecture, Social work etc. Craft vocations are usually based on manual or practical activities and are traditionally non-academic but related to a specific trade, occupation . It is sometimes referred to as technical education as the trainee directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques.
Vocational education can be at the secondary, post-secondary level, further education, and higher education level and can interact with the apprenticeship system. Increasingly, vocational education can be recognized in terms of recognition of prior learning and partial academic credit towards tertiary education (e.g., at a university) as credit.