As the second largest employer in India, construction industry has to take up many measures to ensure that their workforce is well-trained to meet global standards. Industry major, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has been setting new benchmarks in industry-driven training through their Construction Skills Training Institutes (CSTIs) across India.
Our team visited CSTI Jadcherla, near Hyderabad, to speak to Mr. Deepak Kumar Sharma, Principal, to know more about L&T’s construction training ecosystem. We also wanted to learn how it is an exemplary CSR-based model that embraces social impact with scale and sustainability. Let’s read the Skill Story to understand how skills can transform the lives of rural youth and instil a sense of pride through career paths in construction industry!
Tell us about L&T’s Construction Skills Training Institute (CSTI) and its programmes?
The first L&T Construction Skills Training Institute (CSTI) was started in 1995. At present, we have institutes in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kancheepuram, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Raigad, Pikhuwa, Kolkata and Cuttack. Being the pioneer in the construction industry, L&T aims at transforming the lives of young boys who wish to make a career in the construction industry through skill-based training in various trades.
We provide training in more than 14 trades such as Formwork Carpentry, Bar Bending and Steel Fixing, Masonry (Brick Work & Block Work), Plumbing and Sanitary, Electrical, Scaffolding etc. All our trades are NSQF aligned and we’ve played an important role in designing the curriculum by creating various Qualification Packs (QPs) and National Occupational Standards (NOS), as per industry requirements to fill the skill gaps. All our courses are designed as short-term vocational training courses which varies from 1 month to 3 months depending on the trades with 80% practical training and 20% classroom training.
Our training is designed in such a way that we give utmost importance to the holistic development of the students under most conducive environment through our thoughtfully laid out campus. Post-training, there is a visible positive change in the lives of the students especially in those who come from villages in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and so on. L&T not only aims at providing skill training to the students but also ensures that the students undergo a process of self-realization of their potential and take the right steps in developing a career to support themselves and their families.
Click the link to know more about the training programs, enrolment and eligibility criteria. https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/eligibility-criteria-for-lt-csti-programmes/
What about the placement opportunities for students?
L&T ensures 100% placement to all our students immediately after training completion. Students can opt for jobs in any company through sub-contractors or get placed in L&T. They also have the option to join as apprentices through the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) wherein they are paid a stipend of Rs.10000 per month. However, we see many students showing preference to take up a job that pays them a salary and other perks with a minimum pay of Rs. 13000 to Rs 16000 per month.
Also, L&T has many verticals like Building, Transportation, Communication, Maintenance of CCTVs etc. where there are lot of job opportunities. So, students have the benefit of exploring these opportunities to build a career based on their interest level. Our students have been doing very well in India and abroad in building Airports, Steel plants, Software parks, Ports and contributing to many landmark infrastructure projects.
I would say, the progress and achievements of the students are directly correlated with the quality of work they deliver and how productive they are. For example, it is important for them to use the right tool to get the desired result and this has a direct impact on their productivity! So, it all amounts to how skilled they are in using that tool or technology. Even though Construction sector has been attracting lot of informal workforce, today we can’t afford to have them unskilled or untrained. The way the industry has evolved, they must undergo formal training, otherwise, they can’t build a career or grow in this sector.
One of the biggest challenges we face is unemployment. This is partly because of the way in which we perceive certain jobs. In our country, we have a trend of upholding engineering as the best career option. However, it’s high time we realize the fact that skilled trades are as important and beneficial as other jobs.
For example, a highly skilled carpenter can earn Rs.90000 to 1 lakh /month. A highly skilled Welder can set up a business with a potential to earn more than Rs. 1 crore! Today, a NSQF level 10 carpenter is valued more than an engineer. This is because, skills have become more important than before. I must say that skill will become the pillar of the future of work. So, young people should utilize the opportunity wisely and become future Skill Heroes.
How are you facilitating the ToT programme and what are the challenges you face in mobilizing trainers?
L&T ensures that all our trainers are re-skilled and updated with the new changes in the industry.All our trainers undergo ToT programme every 6 months. We have a pool of multi-skilled trainers where some of them have certification from U.S. We associate with Construction Skill Development Council of India (CSDCI) to facilitate various skill training programmes. Recently, we have associated with France government for one such programme.
There are many challenges in attracting people to become trainers. Salary package is one of the main constraints that deter people from entering this field. People prefer to work in high paying projects rather than becoming trainers. We need to change this perception through consistent efforts. At present CSDCI and NSDC are introducing many new initiatives in developing the right talent.
How is L&T integrating technology into the training programme?
L&T ensures that the trainings are updated and is relevant to the industry scenario. Unlike many institutes where the outdated technologies and methods are used to teach students, we integrate new technologies into our programme.
We use new tools and equipments for training the students. For eg: Use of Laser technology and Bar bending simulator help them to easily understand the new methods and complete the work within a shorter period. Also, we have an e-learning portal to train students through video exercises and other materials. This is especially to make them aware of the real world of work.
What are the student mobilization and attrition control methods followed by L&T?
With 23 years of experience in different industries, L&T has a huge network of partners. We partner with various ITIs, NGOs, government bodies, industries etc. The students who pass-out from our institutes are our biggest ambassadors. Apart from this, our demonstrators frequently participate in various job melas to attract interested candidates.
Regarding the student attrition, some students drop-out during the training due to various reasons. One of the main reasons regarding this is that, the industry is highly unorganized. Students are concerned about the transfer of jobs after every project. However, we give counselling to students along with the training to make them aware of the real life situation. These counselling sessions help them to mentally prepare and become completely aware of all the uncertainties. As such, they tend to become strong and complete the programmes successfully.
Can you tell us about the demand for skilled workers in the industry?
The demand for skilled workers is increasing in all industries. For example, earlier, it was easy for a farmer to do construction jobs as and when there are openings. However, with the introduction of new machines and methods, it is now difficult for anyone to get into the construction industry. The industry needs skilled people who are trained in the machines and processes.
With the proper kind of training, young people are able to become professionals and create a career path. Since, construction industry is the largest provider of employment after agriculture, skilled people will always be in demand.