In his Vote on Account 2014 speech, finance minister P. Chidambaram stressed on the need for skill development for better growth of the country. He also said Rs 1,000 crore set apart in FY14 would be transferred to the National Skill Development Trust and proposed the transfer of another sum of Rs 1,000 crore next year (2014-15) to scale up the programme. No doubt, the availability of skilled manpower is one of the major challenges for India Inc.
The dearth of skilled manpower is costing India dear. According to a recent Assocham report, India’s infrastructure industry is facing a significant 20% dearth of project managers leading to project delays and cost overruns. As per a study commissioned by the ministry of tourism in 2013, the supply of skilled/professionally trained manpower is estimated to be 8.92% of the total requirement in the hospitality sector.
To bridge this gap and get better results, industry players have started coming up with their own sets of skill development courses. Maruti is running a PPP model in Gujarat, where they train tribal people in mechanics, driving, personality development, English speaking, petrol pump supervision etc. Till date, the centre has trained about 4,200 students and about 80% of the students are now earning a livelihood based on the skills they acquired here.
“We are working closely with the ministry of tribal development department, at All Gujarat Institute of Driving, Technical Training and Research to impart high quality driving training to tribal youth, to make them employable,” says Ranjit Singh, deputy general manager, CSR & Sustainability at Maruti Suzuki India, adding, “Today, over 4,500 young tribal people—mostly landless farm workers and unskilled construction workers—have been trained, groomed and employed.”
Additionally, Maruti Suzuki has set up the Maruti Centre for Excellence (MACE) and partnered with vendors to build competencies in the growing car market in the country. Through MACE, a non-profit organisation, Maruti works closely with vendor partners to implement world-class practices like total quality management, total productive maintenance and team-oriented problem-solving techniques.
“MACE was formed about four years ago to bring significant change in working and efficiencies of our tier-2 and tier-3 vendors. They are like the last link of the value chain but most critical,” adds Singh. They even absorb few students on merit. “We absorb students from ITIs in our workshops through our dealer partners and over 7,800 students have been placed pan-India last year,” says Singh.
MACE conducts training on