For past decade or so the manufacturing industry has raised many concerns about the poor exposure of students to the manufacturing sector with a dwindling level of interest in many job roles. To address this issue, since 2011, Rhino Machines has been actively collaborating with Engineering Institutions in the educational hub of Vallabh Vidhyanagar – just a stone’s throw from its factory.
The management and stakeholders of the Engineering Colleges had taken cognizance of the situation, and started their own internal Industry Institute Interaction or III Cells. Rhino was taken into the advisory committee and became an active partner in finding ways to strengthen and re-build the bridges.
Forging a connect between engineering colleges and manufacturing industry
Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat – an education hub was a well-thought set up with education on one side of the road, and industrial zone on the other side. The industries in Vitthal Udyognagar have several alumni from the hub with a wide variety of manufacturing skills that align with all the courses offered in these institutions. This industrial area is also an example of entrepreneurship and provides space for starting up with the minimum possible capital to launch a business.
Over the last 4 years, we have seen the growing movement of industries for internship, factory visits and industry defined projects at Vitthal Udyognagar industries. With a maximum number of MSME’s and few medium and large industries, there are possibilities of a mix of visits and exposure. Rhino Machines itself has been very proactive in this regard and has signed MOU’s with the institutions for working together on projects and training.
Manufacturing Industry is on a growth path. Institutions are being allowed to modify their curriculum to give larger exposure to students about the manufacturing sector. Industries are opening doors and engaging in positively connecting the theory with practical learning. This has helped in creating interest in students and getting them attracted to manufacturing by presenting many successful examples.
Attracting students to manufacturing industry
This change has ignited new interest levels in the students in joining manufacturing industry as an employee or as an entrepreneur. However, there’s a long way to go to accomplish our goals. But the first promising steps taken in this direction have ensured a great beginning!. In the past few years, Rhino, as an industry has connected with the Engineering Colleges in multiple ways. This includes:
- Being a faculty member in Industrial Automation and Design
- As a member, Board of Studies, in Mechanical Engineering courses
- Partnering for industry visits for 500+ students every year
- As a short term and semester internship industry with more 100+ internships in past 2 years.
- As an industry project provider with about 10 projects per year from multiple industries
- Offering training in Industrial Automation through ACE Foundation
- As an Industrial Automation training provider with ACE Foundation partnership for Swiss Quality education
- Extending guidance and mentoring for startups and innovative projects
- As a partner for Industry Institute Interaction or III Cells
- Reaching out to institutions in Coimbatore, Udaipur, Jalandhar, Pune, Anand, Ahmedabad and other places and opening our doors for training, projects and internship
Some positive developments in engaging students through industry projects
- A positive development has been a qualitative change in the projects and student interactions as a result of the increasing the duration of projects under GTU from one day, a week to a full semester.
- It is also interesting to observe that the students are now approaching the industry directly for getting the training even in their smallest vacation e.g. the latest Navratri holidays in Vallabh Vidhyanagar about 15 – 20 students have come for one week internship at Rhino.
- This changing face of the industry – academia interaction surely will provide early insights to our young engineers and it is coming at an opportune time when we foresee tremendous and sustainable growth in the manufacturing industry.
However, there are many other areas that need improvement. We have not been able to get the faculty to the industry, and align with the latest development. The impetus is also missing in contribution of faculty members in guiding the industry projects. At the same time, the industry bodies have to take an initiative towards bringing students to their premises and encourage them to ask questions, be curious and learn.
The ball is set to roll, and I do hope all the four stakeholders: institutions, industrial bodies, students and government create a conducive effort to leverage our demographic dividend.
Guest Author: Manish Kothari, Managing Director, Rhino Machines Pvt Ltd : Director, ACE Foundation Email : email@example.com