Meghna Mishra, CEO, Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC)
India’s biggest capital lies in the form of its demographic dividend. A major chunk of the population belongs to the age group below 35 years. In spite of such a huge manpower at hand, our industries still struggle with the shortage of skilled manpower. Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC) was established by Automotive Tyre Manufacturer’s Association (ATMA) and All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA) to ensure the quality skilling and up-skilling of fresh candidates and professionals in rubber sector, and placing them in the industry as per their skills. These candidates are trained, assessed and certified by RSDC as per the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) mandated National Occupational Standards (NOS) for rubber sector. The purpose behind it is to align the job roles and standardize the skill sets of the manpower required for the industry.
India is the 6th largest producer of rubber and has more than 6000 manufacturing units, which makes it evident that the rubber sector needs more skilled manpower to give it a boost that is long awaited. The courses facilitated by RSDC are defined as per the industry requirements and are designed to deliver quality to the trainees. Research and refinement of the course contents is a continuous process which ensures that the latest technology and skill requirements are met in the trainings that are imparted. The endeavour here is to make these courses more interactive and stimulating to the students, through live environment ,with the help of smart classrooms.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), programs are being run for skilling the fresh trainees through National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) and up-skilling the existing workforce through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). These programs are facilitated through RSDC for the rubber sector. Candidates are motivated and recognized with monetary rewards and certificates to undergo such programs.
RSDC’s striving towards creating awareness for these programs and making the skill training in rubber sector, more aspirational, has led to the successful training of close to 38,000 trainees as per the defined National Occupational Standards(NOS). A path has to be paved to ensure that the awareness among the masses is spread at a very early stage. Supportive hands are extended by state governments for initiating vocational courses in rubber technology, as early as higher secondary classes. The successful collaboration with the state governments will lead to more number of trainings, thus a larger skilled workforce.
- Kerala state government has introduced Junior Rubber Technician as an additional subject for students in class 12th.
- Tripura University has introduced the Bachelor of Vocation (B.Voc) program in Rubber Technology to give the students industry relevant education.
A plan has been chalked out to partner with the Industrial Training Institutes, Polytechnic Colleges and labs in community skill parks in various states so as to increase the reach of programs run by the Government of India for youth. Ties with the state government and university bodies are underway, by RSDC so as to fulfil the demand and supply gap that exists between the industry need and skill set available.
The industry has to recognize the people who are trained thus making the training as well as the rubber sector, more aspirational. The industry should also certify their own workers, to motivate them, to enhance their productivity and harness their potential. More awareness needs to be created among general masses about the various programs that are meant to make them more skill oriented and employable. The year that lies ahead has been planned so as to overcome the obstacle in the rubber sector and turn them into opportunities for both the industry as well as the workforce.