The corporate perspective
Speakers: Sanjay Shivnani, Head of Vocational Education, Aditya Birla Foundation; R V Bala Subramaniam Iyer, Vice President, Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd; Ajay Chhangani, Group CEO, Rise India; Sanjiv Garg, VP & Global Head, Tata Motors Ltd
Ajay Chhangani exhorted the audience to make ‘Skill India’ a people’s movement in order to create more awareness about skilled workforce and the need to recognize and respect them. He also highlighted the deed to make strong linkages with the industry to build the missing bridge.
Sanjay Shivnani shared his insights on how CSR is deeply ingrained in the business ethos of Aditya Birla Group (ABG) conglomerate. He spoke about the Aditya Birla Center for Community Initiatives and Rural Development and how CSR-driven skilling initiatives are needed at manufacturing units all over the world. He stressed on 3 key aspects of vocational education: 1. Skill development and livelihood (pure CSR) 2. Capacity building and 3. The inauguration of Aditya Birla Skills Foundation 45 days ago with specific initiatives to supplement government’s skilling mission. He also elaborated on:
- How ABG skilling programs are undertaken as holistic initiatives with healthcare, water, sanitation, animal husbandry, in partnership with local NGOs and ITI s near plant location
- Aditya Birla Center for Retail Excellence owned and operated by fashion retailers makes curriculum and content compliant with NSQF
R V Bala Subramaniam Iyer narrated interesting aspects of partnering with colleges across the country to have engineers as apprentices at Reliance Infocom. Since the term ‘internship’ was more aspirational, they had to rename the apprentices as interns. He described at length about how Reliance trains and certifies skilled workforce and cited the example of “Rescue” division that has the largest after-sales service, powered by multi skilled people. He also said that a major challenge of skilling is the social angle and how companies may not be comfortable in deputing a lady technician for home service.
Sanjiv Garg put forth the social commitment of Tata Motors for skilling and how they don’t consider it as a matter of funding project but how we can make difference in someone’s life. Tata Motors has the largest network of workshops and driver training institutes and a dedicated dealer apprentice training center in Jamshedpur. Some key facts from his presentation:
- The aim is to train almost 10 lakh people in next 2 years through Tata STRIVE
- The first batch of trainees from Tata Motors are drawing a salary of Rs. 10 to 12 lakhs a year.
- Collaboration with Project Udaan and Amity Business School to share hardcore automotive knowledge and skills
- Partnering with MSDE on PMKVY to help Automotive Sector Skill Council with assessors and setting up dealer training centers
- Adoption of 132 ITI s to equip, transform and place them in Tata Motors
- Collaboration with Indian Army and technical training of youth in Jammu and Kashmir
Meenakshi Batra, CAF, India
CAF works with 10000 companies to provide CSR advisory, strategic giving for equitable and sustainable society. Meenakshi Batra also described how they work with corporate and NGO partners to plan and deliver their programs, by aligning them with monitoring and audit processes. By transforming ideas to impact, they have been contributing actively to skilling and job placements for sustainable livelihoods.
Anup K Srivastava CEO SCPWD
Anup K Srivastava enlightened the audience about how PwDs can contribute to society and economy if they are helped with dignified livelihood; this includes PwDs who are into BPL segment, who could be school dropouts, or from rural areas with limited or no mobility. Job mapping is crucial for skilling PwDs since this will place them in the right role by taking their other abilities into context.
- The main challenge is to bring standardization since, at present the sector is fragmented; SCPWD currently works with 11 industry sectors for placing the candidates
- There is also a dearth of rightly equipped trainers and counsellors in India, coupled with financial viability of various training programs
Anuradha Lal shared the experience of Lemon Tree Hotels in hiring people with disabilities since it is a part of the business model and it’s not a charity. This approach has direct benefits to business along with employee benefits. She also shared success stories about PwDs who are blessed with other stronger and sharper abilities that can help accomplish different tasks. The inclusive policy of the company has found several admirers on websites like Trip Advisor who appreciate the efforts at providing dignity and independence to ‘Opportunity deprived Indians’.