Skilled welder shortage looms in India

  The Indian Institute of Welding (IIW) has petitioned the Prime Minister’s Office and Union Minister for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy about shortfall in availability of skilled welders and gas cutters across the nation. Growth-led increased job openings and replacing the retiring workforce (over 2015-2022) accounts for a shortage of 1.2 million welding professionals including welders, cutters, fitters, equipment operators, and also engineers and inspectors. In fact, today a number of project contractors have imported welding and cutting operators from China, Russia and East European countries.  “Our country is in a dire need of overhaul of the current practices and must embrace and adopt new technologies to ensure the 12th Plan growth targets,” R Srinivasan, President of IIW said at a seminar held in Mumbai recently.
Domestic 12th Plan targets of adding 90,000 MW power generation capacities and creating new construction assets of 52 lakh crore may all get derailed for India’s lack of sufficient skilled workers. The national mission of building 20 kilometres of new highways each day is already falling behind. The ‘Make-in-India’ campaign has surged the growth prospects of manufacturing sector but hue and cry of perennial skilled labour shortage have become vociferous in the automobile, construction, power and defence sectors. Skilled welding professionals at all levels; pipe and plate welders, supervisors and welding engineers continue to be in short supply. The union government’s skill development machinery which targets to skill over 500 million Indians by 2022 must work to overcome the severe shortage in employable skills of the Indian workforce.
IIW has offered to partner with the union and state government machinery to up-skill Indian youth and overcome the shortage of competency-certified welding workforce. New trained welders need to be recruited, and uncertified welders may need to be retrained for manufacturing jobs of the 21st Century. Towards this purpose IIW proposes to hold a National Welding Seminar and Weld India Expo from 9th to 11th December at Mumbai.
“This event aims to showcase the latest equipments used in global welding technologies. The Indian welding fraternity will sit together with Government officials and administrators of the State run ITI’s to update their curriculum, match their syllabus and facilitate training with Industry participation on cutting edge technology welding equipment. Students including those with SSC certification may contact the IIW Kolkatta based headquarter or closest regional branches to examine the possibility of a career in welding. The compensation for welders is very healthy, annual packages starting from 3 lakh up to as high as Rs 40 Lakh. Many industries want to optimize their capital investments and rely on welders who have the ability to rebuild fairly old and worn equipment. Such skills have become a rarity and are in great demand. If you dedicate yourself to the welding industry, you will never be out of a job,” concluded Srinivasan.
This IIW 3-day event at Mumbai also provides an opportunity to meet researchers, academicians, scientists, metallurgists, practicing engineers, welding-consumable and equipment manufacturers and applicators of welding and cutting.  Above 35 international exhibitors will showcase cutting-edge welding technology with advances in welding robotics and process automation.

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