Radhamma, Beauty Entrepreneur, Hoskote, LabourNet
Radhamma is a 33-year old housewife from Thavarekere in Hoskote. Hailing from a family of poor agricultural labourers, Radhamma had to discontinue her formal education after 10th standard. She had picked up tailoring from her mother, now deceased, that helped her earn around Rs.3000 as a semi-skilled self-employed tailor. Her brother earned Rs.6000 as a labourer that mostly went in the upkeep of his wife and child. Radhamma’s father couldn’t take up any work as a labour due to health problems after the death of Radhamma’s mother. Looking at the financial condition of her family, Radhamma decided to acquire industry relevant skills that would help her increase her income.
She joined assistant beauty therapist course at a centre managed by LabourNet. Radhamma attended a 2-month assistant beauty therapist course in the beauty and wellness sector. Being a practical-based industry-oriented training, 60 hours were allocated to theory and 120 hours for practical training. Radhamma was trained in the basics of beauty service like threading, waxing, hair cutting, applying facials and face masks, skin and hair spas, manicure and pedicure. Owing to poor confidence level, Radhamma took some time to open up and dive deep into the training. However, with some extra nudge from the trainer and support of her batch mates, she soon began to enjoy the program and even began to request for extra practical sessions to learn better. Her family, too, motivated her to continue and promised to support her when she would begin to put her knowledge to practice.
It has always been clear for Radhamma that she had to remain self-employed in order to manage a work-life balance. With an ailing father to take care of, she couldn’t afford to go far away from home and work in an 8-9 hour full-time job. The training she received also gave her tips on how to open her own parlour. With the support of the centre staff, she has opened a beauty parlour close to her house and has begun to earn much better than she earned as a semi-skilled tailor. She hopes to double her income in the coming months as footfall increases.
Ahammad Kabeer, Construction Trainer, LabourNet, Kerala
Hailing from Calicut, Kerala, he is a construction trainer, specializing in Bar-bending and steel fixing level 4. Kabeer is proactively involved in mobilizing the trainees, equipping the classroom with learning tools like learning cards and power point presentations and relevant safety equipment according to various trades like bar-bending, masonry and Shuttering carpentry. He also conducts on-job practical classes, interacting with the trainees individually.
Mobilisation is the biggest challenge in the informal sector as it is very difficult to make working candidates understand the benefits of training and certification. For an experienced worker who is earning daily wages, reskilling doesn’t seem very appealing as he / she considers himself / herself to be a master in the domain he / she is engaged in. Telling such candidates about the changing face of the industry and advanced technologies seems meaningless at times. He has to find innovative ways to counsel and teach these candidates. Collecting documents like Aadhaar card and few other things also pose a challenge. For onsite training program, he needs to actually keep nudging the candidates to be present in the classroom for theory sessions. At times, candidates get so busy with work that they are unable to attend practical session at the designated time. He needs to adjust the sessions accordingly.
While it is necessary to reskill workers so that they can stay relevant and continue to work in their domain, he would suggest that employers, too, support them in motivating their workers by providing a small incentive at the end of the training. After all, the employers benefit most when the workforce is skilled and organised. As far as the course and curriculum goes, he feels we need to keep upgrading the content in order to include the latest development in the sector, especially if the changes are fast-paced.