Dr J.V. Rao , CEO, Textile Sector Skill Council (TSC)
We have trained more than 3000 people in the National Backward Class Finance Development Corporation (NBCFDC) as workers for textile mill sector weavers, where we’ve covered the RPL as well as the Fresher Training. In 2016, we’ve trained close to 34000 people in textile mill sector and this year we plan to train 50000 under RPL (PMKVY2) in the handloom sector, for which we are also the Project Implementation Agency (PIA). We have signed an MoU with Arni Silk Park in Tamil Nadu, as our RPL partner for upskilling in design, quality and productivity. So far, we’ve developed total 68 job roles out of which 9 are for handloom sector.
Most of the larger textile mills were already affiliated with us in 2015-16. Now mills are in the process of getting registered as per PMKVY 2 guidelines. We have pan-India presence in major textile and Handloom clusters including Northeastern states, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Himachal, U.P. and Uttarakhand.
Challenges: The main challenge we are facing right now relates to mobilization of candidates, coupled with high attrition rates. Once the candidates join the industry after completion of training, they leave for more comfortable jobs since working in this sector is mostly strenuous, and physically demanding. Hence there is lot of mobility to other sectors.
Another challenge is retention of youth in the handloom sector, since most youngsters are not willing to be handloom weavers. Hence training for freshers is not attractive and aspirational for handloom sector. We focus on RPL and to train the existing weavers on new designs. We also tell them about the market trends and train them accordingly on productivity and quality parameters, adverse effects of using chemical dyes and other issues. For the youth we’ve come up with a short-term training program in Handloom Entrepreneurship in coordination with DC (Development Commissioner) Handlooms. This is a 4-month course, sponsored by DC Handlooms and it prepares students in banking, sales, online marketing, use of social media for marketing in Handloom sector and prepares them to be handloom Entrepreneur.
Road ahead: TSC has facilitated the weavers to display and sell at Dilli Haat and an exhibition Dastkar Haat held in January in Janpath. Both events were supported by NBCFDC to provide the weaver with market connect. This was meant for backward class weavers, where the to and fro and the stall was given free of cost, and they just came and sold their products. The sales were really good and they were happy about it. We appreciate the efforts by NBCFDC and PMKVY team for providing funding and support for training and market connect. Recently TSC has been awarded as the best SSC for the work done for facilitating training and employment of Backward class candidates across the country.
We would be keen if corporates can come forward and cover such initiatives can under CSR for training as well as for providing better machines to Handloom weavers. Assistance to provide better market connect or sell the products through state emporia by getting a shelf free of cost for the students who are undergoing the entrepreneurship course and weavers certified under RPL scheme of PMKVY would be welcome.