In a short span of six years, Edubridge has created a significant positive impact through skill-based training for youth from semi-urban and rural areas and help them get jobs. Using multiple technological strategies and laying huge emphasis on quality of training, Edubridge has come a long way since 2010. In this skill Story, Girish Singhania, CEO, Edubridge Learning Pvt Ltd, talks about their journey so far and the challenges they faced in migration and training among many others. Let’s read on to know more about how Edubridge is building bridges that connect education and skills with employment.
Edubridge is a training company that was started about six and half years ago in 2010 primarily to provide vocational skills to youth who are unemployed living in the semi urban and rural areas. It has been setup with the vision of fulfilling the skill gap that exists currently between semi-urban/economically backward youth and the skill requirements of the high-performing companies/government organizations.
Training at Edubridge
We started with an interesting model, where the student would come, select the course, pay the money and get trained for a period of 2 months and then get placed into a sector that they have been particularly trained in. the model was developed by me way back in 2010 and over the years it has evolved to many levels.
Now we have 350 odd employees in the company and 75 training centres across 14 states and we cater to all kinds of entry level jobs like Banking, Insurance, IT -ITES, Hospitality, Retail and Telecom. We train semi-urban and rural youth in the district headquarters for a period of nearly 45 to 90 days after which we guarantee them employment with one of the 300 recruiters across the country. By the end of this financial year we will have about 100 training centres that can train 50,000 people. At present have 75 training centres in 14 states and they are mostly located in south west and north east India. We are all over Maharashtra, Andhra, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat we have just started, Assam, Sikkim, Meghalaya and now starting in Odisha.
Mobilising and counselling
Mobilising is a lesser challenge now, the biggest challenge we feel is the counselling of parents and their students. Given that our major target audience is between 18-25, a lot of them are extremely unclear about what to do and because they haven’t faced the realities of life, their aspirations are really high and rather unrealistic. So, it becomes very difficult to explain to them the realities. Counselling becomes extremely important, and it has been a challenge for the last 1 to 2 years. It is something we are working on even today because, with the students, we need to get this right. We ensure that the parents are visiting the training centre at least once or twice during the course of
the training program, where the parents can come and get counselled. At times, we even visit their homes and counsel them because, for us, it is mandatory to counsel parents at least twice during the program.
Edubridge training process
First, our training delivery is backed by state-of-the-art technology. We make sure that the quality of training does not get diluted. Second, we don’t outsource our training and we don’t follow any franchise model. So all the training is done by the trainers who are there on our payroll list. Third, we have a large team of audit and quality managers who go across the country who do surprise visits to the centres to ensure everything is perfect.
We have a fairly strict four-step process for recruitment of trainers. We have faced challenges in trainer attrition. We are partners with the state governments in all the states we work with. There are several differences between our programs. We have schemes where we have tied up with corporates which are custom designed; we have programs which are tailored for PMKVY and different government schemes.
Technology in training
Directionally our government is doing it right, but I think certain things need to be done right before anything else. I believe if the assessment and certification process is done right, then a lot many other things will fall into place. There is a lot of human involvement at this point and there is a very large chance for errors. This needs to be done in a far more organised and systemic manner by leveraging latest technology. This can avoid situations like the assessor not reaching on time or the training partner not being able to get the student in the specified time period.
We are one of the pure-play skilling organisation, having started up in 2010. We are still growing and in these couple of years we have skilled significant number of people. We provide exceptionally good quality of training and the kind of technology usage we have now put into place; I’m sure it is going to differentiate us from the rest.