With the target to train 3 lakh workers in the next fiscal out of the current 3.5 crore unskilled workers, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is dreaming big. And, the Construction Skills Summit held last week in Mumbai unveiled the council's training plans for the next fiscal.
Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman, Construction Skill Development Council India (CSDCI) - one of 18 sector skill councils approved by NSDC - shared with CW exclusively at the event, "Every ordinary worker at some stage will be a trained personnel. The basic motive of the council is to identify national occupational standards in the construction industry." Adding to this was the Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation, S Ramadorai, who emphasised, "The industry needs to take a lead so that the right people are deployed, certain people are skilled every year and workers attain the national occupational standards as prescribed by the CSDCI."
Leading the transformation
Having identified six skills - masonry, carpentry, bar bending, shuttering, surveyor and scaffolding - in the fragmented sector till date, CSDCI aims to transform laborers into skilled personnel with the help of set occupational standards. "These standards will not only increase productivity in the industry but also increase pay packages among the workers," affirmed Gulabchand. He further clarifies, "We will not delve into actual training procedures but will instead certify trained workers in the industry." He assures that once quality is attained, the industry will definitely pay more. As said, this certificate will be identified by industry leaders who will not be reluctant to pay the workers their due wages.
The skill development involves rigorous on-site training conducted in an efficient and safe manner. Citing its relevance, Gulabchand went on to say, "Although various companies in the country have established their own training centres, a particular system needs to be in place." Varying from level 1 to 10, standards have been set with the number of hours of training the worker has to undergo. This will be further assessed by an independent third party for competency.
Moreover, with a good number of international agencies having done works in particularly setting up construction skills, the council hopes to get their co-operation on the same. With this initiative, the construction industry is definitely on it way to standardisation.
Need of the hour
In order to build capacity, it is crucial to upgrade manpower skills. With a government grant of Rs 3.2 crore, CSDCI has a corpus of Rs 140 lakh. Hence, the council, with training mechanisms to develop modules, plans to certify around 1.14 crore trainees and train 1.98 lakh trainers over a 10 year period.