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Introduce New Trades Relevant to ECE Industry in ITIs and Polytechnics: Expert [26 November 2011]

The government should introduce new trades that are relevant to the Earthmoving and Construction Equipment (ECE) industry in industrial training institutes, polytechnics, vocational training institutes to meet the skill demands of the industry, which is expected to grow to two million by 2020, said  V Ravichandar, Member, Subcommittee on Skills and Employability, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) – Southern Region.
Addressing the Roundtable on Skill Management in Earthmoving and Construction Industry, organised by CII here today as part of Excon 2011, a five day international exhibition of earthmoving and construction equipment  and equipment technology, Mr Ravichandar said that the paucity of skilled resources could stall the growth of the equipment manufacturers, after sales support companies, equipment operators, and equipment maintenance companies, the major players of the ECE industry, which has the potential to grow seven fold over the next decade to cross US$ 25 billion mark.
He said that as individual skill training initiatives by companies were not scalable models, there is a need for a national initiative. The ECE companies need to collaboratively create an exclusive, nationwide skill initiative with students, institutes, companies, and government as stakeholders and enlarge the pool of skilled labour. The primary responsibilities of the industry include identification of skill gaps and mapping of demands. Companies have to work closely with institutes in creating curriculum, training the trainers.
Mr Ravichander pointed out that India has the youth labour force – people in the age group of 15-25 – of about 200 million. However, only 8% of them are graduates. Over 23 million are illiterate and about 75 million are eighth standard drop outs. Mr Ravichandar said that government and industry should get into mobilizing human resources through community reach programs and create awareness of new job opportunities.
Talking about the skill requirements in the ECE industry, Mr Ravichandar said that out of the two million jobs that are expected to be created at the ECE industry in the next ten years, 5-8% of them would go to post graduate students for managerial positions, about 8-12% to under graduate engineers, 10-15% to diploma/ITI students for the supervisory roles, and about 40-50% of them to workers/operators, school dropouts with or without 12th standard certification.
He said that companies can enhance the employability of people with minimal education by imparting short, modular and focused intervention for employment at the level of operating the equipment. For the supervisory level, companies need to impart technical training, knowledge of complex operations and machinery. And for managerial positions, companies have to provide a long drawn preparation, involving highly technical or commercial operations.
Mr Ravichander added that though there are multiple skill level requirements, over 75% of the demand come from basic and supervisory skills – this would include about 40-50% of demand for skills to operate machines like cranes, mobile cranes, high rise cranes, hoists, dumpers, forklift trucks, aerial ropeways, among others.
CEOs participating in the Roundtable commented that government’s skill training programs are not market driven, and there are funding woes, institutional challenges, quality issues, and student constraints. They urged the institutes to pay attention to matching the aptitude of students with jobs before training them in order to increase the success rate.

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