Automotive Retail has huge potential to absorb skilled youth in many jobs in sales and services. The industry demands rightly-skilled people who can get productive on day one and deliver quality output. Let’s understand how National Technical Institute (NTI) from SkillSource Learning and Technologies Pvt. Ltd has been making a positive difference to the lives of youth through automotive skills. Himanshu Dhamesha, Founder and Business Head at SkillSource, tells us the Skill Story by taking us through major milestones…
Q: Tell us about SkillSource and your tie up with NSDC and automotive industry?
A: SkillSource was established in 2011. It is a joint venture between Australia-based Sewells MXSI Group and NSDC. Sewells – MSXI is world’s largest automotive retail consulting group having its headquarter in US and operates in more than 80 countries across the world. We work with almost all leading automotive manufacturers to provide them skilled manpower. We set up NTI to solve India’s skill challenges in the automotive industry with twin objectives. First, to provide ‘day one’ productive manpower to the industry and the second is to provide livelihood to Indian youth who are deprived of formal education and other opportunities.
Q: What are the training programs offered at NTI?
A: Skillsource offers program on almost every job roles existing in Automotive retail, some job roles in Automobile manufacturing, Oil & Gas sector, Agriculture and Electrical – Electronic sector. The number of people employed in automotive service industry is far greater than the manufacturing. We are more focused on automotive retail which includes sales and services-related job roles which exists in our dealership. We also do skilling for manufacturing auto components. We provide courses for job roles of higher spectrum of manufacturing like Mechatronics, Automation and similar domains.
Q: Is your training curriculum aligned with the industry and how is SkillSource different from other training partners?
A: Let me present the big picture of our training framework. There are four pillars of success or operation excellence which we try to implement at SkillSource. First, is a world class training facility that requires considerable investment; we have 12 training centres across the country and all the centres are owned by us. Second, is the curriculum. In all our programs, first we focus on inculcating good human values and positive attitude. Each candidates perform citizenship oath and then we start delivering domain skills. The courses are co-created with the industry and they are also aligned with the National Occupational Standards (NOS) that are created by ASDC. All our courses are approved by ASDC and NSDC. Our courses are comprises of 30% theory and 70% practical. We’ve adopted a 5-step approach to train that includes visual, kinesthetic and practical training, where the learners get to try it out by themselves.
The third pillar comprises training delivery. We have 7 step training delivery process for the trainers that includes training delivery methodology, keeping all the adult learning principles in mind. And, the fourth pillar is placement. At all our training centres, we ensure that the candidates get placed as soon as they finish their training, by leveraging our connection with the industry. Post-placement, we continuously monitor them and remind them of their duties as employees.
Q: How do you manage to get the trainers by creating aspirational value around automotive training?
A: All our programs are long-term and fee-based and there are some programs which are sponsored by industries where industries pays for all the courses. Our parent group is the largest automotive training company in India. We have more than 250 full-time trainers across the country. SkillSource also has more than 40 full time trainers who deliver training for auto manufacturers. We follow a systematic way of developing trainers. We have master trainers for different job roles. We have trainer development program which includes pedagogic training followed by domain related training and then they are inducted in the system through buddy program. Post deployment there is systematic training feedback system for continuous improvement on training delivery.
We have trained about 14,000 candidates with placement record of almost 70%. We are trying to expand further to increase the numbers but in the process we don’t want to compromise with the quality. We are moving ahead, slowly and steadily achieving the main objective of providing the candidates placement.
Q: What about collaboration with the industry for placements and beyond?
A:When you are really able to develop the skills which are required by the industry and ‘day one’ productive manpower, industry is willing to provide jobs. Hence, Skillsource has strategic MoUs with some of the leading Automotive manufactures and Oil companies to supply skilled manpower. Students get right placements and hence they have a good chance of career progression when compared to any other person coming from a conventional or continuous educational background. As the continuous higher education is costly and it is difficult to get a job after that, the trend is going to change in India very soon. We have been able to establish our brand name, which is very reliable. With active support from the industry, we’ve developed a program for India’s largest automotive manufacturing companies. The programs are sponsored by the companies under business impact initiatives.
Q: How do you make your training holistic, to develop overall skills and abilities of youth?
First rule for all our programs is about making the youth good human beings. We teach them human values through different inspirational videos and stories of great leaders coming from financially deprived background. They are asked to take a citizenship oath which is available online at the end of the first module.The get certifications for the same. It helps them further while learning domain skills.
Q: What is your advice to the students and skill training providers?
Students should be clear about the skills that they want to acquire. They need to understand what they want to achieve in their lives and then accordingly decide and enroll into any skill development program which they like. Because, relevant skills is the only thing that will fetch them the right job.
For skill training providers, who want to get in to this field and grow, I would like to tell them that skilling industry is a tough business and the kind of returns during the initial phase of the company is not great compared to other businesses. The only success mantra is to have a focused approach in terms of quality outcomes. They need to focus on a couple of industry sectors and this will help them grow further.