With over 635 industry membership, representing small, medium and large-scale industries and MNCs of Marathwada region, the Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture (CMIA) is playing a significant role in bridging the gap between industries and academia for about 2 decades now. We interacted with Mr. Ashish Garde, Ex-President of CMIA, and Director of CMIA’s Marathwada Skills hub to know more about their innovative initiatives, successful models, and how they are coping with the COVID-19 crisis. In this Skill Story, Mr. Ashish Garde tells us about how CMIA is resolving skill gap issues for industries of the Marathwada region. Read on to know more.
Q: In the current COVID-19 crisis, how is CMIA ensuring continuous learning for various skilling courses?
A: During the COVID-19 crisis and resultant lockdown, we have been conducting the online classes for fresh non-technical students under the BTP course, who are completing their training as part of the STRIVE project offered by DGT / NSDC. CMIA is a government-approved basic training provider for two years and knows the BTP academics that helped in quickly shifting to delivery of online coaching to the students.
We faced critical challenges while starting and conducting online courses for the first time. Students did not have the required quality mobile handsets and bandwidth at their homes as most of them come from economically weaker sections of society and mostly from rural areas. Online classes are conducted by industry experts like Prasad Kokil, Ex-President CMIA, who are the members of CMIA. We are also seeking help from a few faculty members from government and private ITIs who are willing to go out of the way to conduct the online classes from their respective homes.
We are circulating the course material and notes to the students via E-mail/ WhatsApp with facilitation and support of Mr. Ravishankar Koragal, Technical Advisor GIZ, Aurangabad Office, who helped us in conducting these online classes during the lockdown.
Q: Could you tell us how Skill Hub is acting as the centre connect point for all the key agencies engaged in skills training?
A: In the past, CMIA had actively participated in the PPP initiative of upgrading 36 government ITIs in the region. Realising the challenges in the upgradation of ITIs and bridging the skill gap, CMIA decided to address this issue by establishing CMIA Skills Hub in the year 2015 by conducting various programs targeted at ITI students and their faculty.
CMIA has membership from all categories of Industries, i.e., micro, small, medium, large, and MNCs in the region. They are from various domains such as auto, auto component, engineering, pharma, steel, IT, seeds, breweries, plastics, electronics, etc. CMIA is an approved Third Party Aggregator (TPA) for promoting NAPS. We are encouraging all the industries in the region including those who are not CMIA members to actively participate in the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) as many of them are yet to complete their registration under NAPS. Industries who need well trained and skilled manpower, who are employment ready actively associate with CMIA Marathwada Skills Hub.
Q: As all the CMIA industries of the Marathwada region are members of Skill Hub, how is the response for the Apprenticeship scheme?
A: Over the years CMIA Marathwada Skills Hub has developed and built a strong skilling ecosystem in the region. We are in constant touch with government officials at DGT, NSDC, Sector Skills Councils, and MSDE. We are also in touch with DGET New Delhi, RDSDE Mumbai (RDAT), DVET, and Government of Maharashtra officials at Mumbai and DVET officials at Aurangabad.
We work closely with Maharashtra Police and their Welfare Department. We signed an MOU with them to provide skilling opportunities to their children. We have also signed MOUs with other ecosystem partners to work smoothly and consistently. We have done an industry survey for understanding the skills gap analysis and have identified courses to be conducted for meeting the industry’s requirements. The syllabus is designed and selected as per industry requirement and it is approved by the respective sector skills council.
Students are selected after following a detailed and rigorous selection process involving a counselling session with the students as well as their parents for avoiding the possibility of dropouts. We do not charge any training fees to the students and industries bear the cost of training as their CSR activity. Students get a stipend as applicable as per NAPS norms.
Q: What are the important initiatives taken by CMIA for the development of industries in the Marathwada region?
A: We have executed various unique initiatives with Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the recent past. They include:
- Marathwada Auto Cluster with a total investment of Rs. 82 Cr
- Devgiri Electronics Cluster with Investment of Rs.50 Cr.
- Marathwada Accelerator for Growth and Incubation Council (MAGIC) – Business Incubator Approved MSME Dept Gov.of India and Maharashtra State Innovation Society
- CMIA’s Cluster Development Cell
- CMIA’s Energy Cell
CMIA members have also actively participated in the establishment of a school, hospital, cultural organisation, environmental care cluster, common effluent treatment plant for industries, etc. demonstrating the power of collective wisdom while meeting the requirements of Industries, bridging the gaps and serving the society and stakeholders.
Q: Please share some of your best practices or models in the space of skilling/ upskilling of youth.
A: CMIA has a well-equipped secretariat extending back-office support to any such initiative under the skill development of the youths. We are regularly in touch with CMIA members and other industries and establishments who are on the mailing list of CMIA. We regularly share information with industries regarding any initiative under skill development. Information is also shared through local media and social media. Awareness sessions are regularly conducted with the involvement of various Sector Skills Councils for the promotion of NAPS. For upgrading the skills and knowledge of the SME workforce, CMIA conducts special training sessions. We have plans of conducting the Train the Trainers (ToT) programs for supervisors on the shop floor of SMEs in the region.
Through all the above-mentioned initiatives and activities, CMIA’s Marathwada Skills Hub has come up as a role model for implementing the dual model of skills training through the leadership of the local Chamber of Industries at tier-2 city like Aurangabad in Maharashtra, while forging a strong partnership with Government and other ecosystem partners. Results produced during this pilot project are a testimony for the success of Public-Private Partnership in skill development domain with a lot of value addition by International Development Agency like GIZ playing the critical role of a catalyst.
Related Article: Government schemes and initiatives that support MSME growth in India – Read More: https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/government-schemes-and-initiatives-that-support-msme-growth-in-india/
Q: Could you tell us more about your association with GIZ?
A: For Skills Development initiatives, in 2016-17 we came in contact with GIZ India. GIZ is a German development agency headquartered in Eschborn Germany that provides services in the field of international development cooperation. GIZ shortlisted Aurangabad Auto Cluster Industries. Since then, CMIA and GIZ have partnered and jointly working on building skilling ecosystems and brought the public and private sector together in the region in a structured way to establish the cooperative VET model involving all relevant stakeholders. The Cooperative VET model can be replicated in other locations.
As a part of this intervention and partnership, GIZ had arranged a study tour of Germany for CMIA office bearers associated with Skills Hub. This study tour gave an opportunity to understand the dual training method of skilling adopted in various types of vocational education and training institutes in Germany, including the skill development and training institutes operated by the local Chamber of Industries in Germany. This was an inspiration for the CMIA team to implement similar initiatives at Aurangabad through International collaboration.