DFID India, in collaboration with Construction Sector Skill Council of India (CSDCI) organised an industry round table for Skilling in Construction Sector at the India Habitat Center, New Delhi, on 1 November 2018. The round table was attended by Ms. Sunita Sanghi (Sr. Advisor, MSDE), Mr. Surajit Roy (Sr. Head, Apprenticeship Division NSDC) along with several senior members of the construction industry to discuss ways to stimulate skilling in the construction sector.
The Construction Industry is the second largest employment generator in India, employing around 45 million people, mostly in the unorganized sector. While the construction sector is witnessing a 7% Y-o-Y growth, a large part of construction activities happen in the unorganized sector by unskilled workers and the productivities are low. Hence there has been a a dearth of skilled resources in the Construction industry over the last decade, and this is widening rapidly over the past few years.
The Department for International Development (DFID)-Government of United Kingdom and Construction Skill Development Council hosted a Round table Conference on ‘Skilling in Construction Sector’ along with Construction Industry members.
Senior members from various organization in Construction industry such as Larsen & Toubro, Tata Projects, Simplex Infrastructure, GMR, Oriental Structural Engineers among others participated. Key areas of discussions during the workshop were i) Inputs from industry on key areas of intervention for reducing the skill gaps in the Construction Sector, ii) Relevance of the National Apprenticeship policy and Recognized Prior Learning schemes in the Construction sector, and iii) Feedback on the interventions planned by DFID in the Construction Sector. The participants shared the skilling needs of the industry and the future demand with advent of technology and mechanization in construction sector and discussed practical solutions and interventions relevant to the growing demands of the industry.
DFID India and CSDC round table discusses ways to stimulate skilling in Construction Sector
Ms. Sunita Sanghi, Sr. Advisor, MSDE, spoke about importance of skill development for the sector and how collaboration is required between the Industry and Government bodies to improve the skilling scenario in India.Col. Anand (Retd.), CEO – CSDCI spoke on the initiatives taken by CSDCI in different areas and emphasized that such workshops will work as a platform for employers and sector skill councils to be responsive to the ground situation, learn from each other and understand the changing demands of competencies in construction. He also stressed on participation of industry as a key driver for enhancing the skilling program in India.
Mr. Surajit Roy, Sr. Head, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) spoke on the increased requirement of structured trainings and skilling initiatives in the sector. He also stressed on the advantages of Apprenticeship and how the scheme can benefit the employers as well as potential employees through a structured model. Ms. Anu Gupta, Head Skills and Inclusion, DFID, highlighted the on the developments in Construction sector skilling in UK and how some of the leading practices on Apprenticeship, Recognition of Prior Learning, Gender representation and others, can be contextualized and replicated in the Indian environment.
The Industry members exchanged their experiences, learnings and success stories in upgrading skill sets in their company. All the participants shared their views on the priority areas for skill development and expressed their views on DFID’s interventions in the Construction sector.
Mr. Natarajan from L&T spoke on how to increase the number of quality trainers in the sector and how UK can bring in international best practices to the Construction Sector in India. Col N B Saxena, Simplex Infrastructures also spoke about Bridge courses and how they can assist the trainers in these programmes. Mr. G K Sridharan from Oriental Structural spoke about how simulators can help provide effective training to Plan & Machinery operators at a fraction of cost. Some other ideas that came out of the discussions was providing financial support to trainees during the training period, development of training curriculum for new technologies and initiatives in the sector and conducting pilot programs with industry support for creating a model for different training initiatives which can be replicated by other players. Industry members stressed upon developing a skilled workforce for construction sector and providing quality skills to individuals who enroll to become self reliant.
Inclusion of PwDs (persons with disabilities) in construction sector was also discussed to highlight their importance for any organization and to provide equal opportunities and trainings to ensure their employment.
DFID plans to organize similar focused conferences and workshops to continuously be in touch with the Industry Skilling demands and generate awareness on the technology and skills available in UK to support the Indian industry initiatives.