Texmo Industries has been one of the early adopters of the Swiss dual-track apprenticeship program with Skillsonics. Mr. Kamesh Sundaram, Principal, Training and Development, tells us more about their experience.
Q: What convinced Texmo to choose a dual-track apprenticeship program with SkillSonics and why training is important for Texmo?
A: We wanted to meet our demand for highly-trained and skilled engineers who could understand and improve our processes. The engineering graduates we hire in large numbers, do not meet this demand. We found the Swiss way of learning and working was more suited to meet Texmo’s need for a skilled workforce. Hence, it was natural for us to reach out to SkillSonics to fulfill our requirements.
Q: How was the training implemented?
A: We started 2 MSPT diploma programs (Mechatronics and CNC Machining) similar to other SkillSonics centers by recruiting ITI trained people and planning to train for 2 years. We migrated to a 10 + 3 model as we could groom the attitude, and control the quality of the graduates.
We are currently recruiting the 3rd batch of students. At peak, we intend to have 150 students across 3 batches. At present, we have 4 trainers in the training centre. We also have 6 more SkillSonics trained and certified trainers who work in our company and perform the role of guest faculty members at the training centre.
Q: What did the trainees learn at the courses?
A: We follow the SkillSonics curriculum for the Diploma Programs. We also place the students in the factory so that they learn to work in the different manufacturing, assembly, testing and machining processes in our company. This is an integral part of our dual track program.
Q: Tell us more about the training center and other upcoming facilities at Texmo?
A: We have a training center that we revamped to comply with SkillSonics requirements. Soon, we plan to move to a brand new state-of-the-art training center as we are growing. While we teach theory and practical at the training centre, the on-the-job-training component is conducted at any of our various plants.
Q: Did you train trainers as well…?
A: The SkillSonics Master Trainers come and train our permanent and guest faculties. Our trainers also attended the various QAP programs and ToT sessions conducted by SkillSonics at various client centers across India. Like others, we too hosted few sessions. I personally got myself certified as a Master Trainer.
Q: Who were the people that got trained?
A: We recruit a lot of rural and tribal students. We mix them up with urban students so we have good homogeneity. Boys and girls work together to get skilled equally. We hope to groom them to be prime movers wherever they are.
Q: What educational background did the trainees have?
A: They mostly come straight out of 10th standard. We do have a few 12th standard students who were passionate about joining the program but we try to catch them between 16 and 19 years of age. We recruit those who have scored above 60% at school.
Q: What were the challenges the trainees faced?
A: Students face a lot of challenges from day one. Even transplanting them from a cozy home environment into a hostel with fellow 16 year olds is a big challenge. Working really hard for 8 hours a day is a challenge too! They learn to enjoy the process and focus on the skills they learn, so, they can enjoy the fruits of their labor. We are happy to see them help each other and grow as a team. Nothing seems to be impossible for them.
Q: Can you say something about the Return on Investment (ROI)?
A: While we have invested heavily to empower rural and underprivileged youth, we expect the students to be future leaders in various processes of our company. Within 8 months from joining, some of them have participated in Work Skills Competition. We are working towards making them competitive with the best in the world, in terms of skill, knowledge and attitude.
We are also in the process of providing production support; develop tooling and developing other courses to become financially balanced.
Q: Did the training program meet your expectations?
A: Definitely. We believe that the program is effective in imparting the fundamentals to be independent, creative and responsible technologists. We also wish to impart the soft skills to be competent, resourceful and bravely face the challenges whether at work or in life.
Q: What are your training plans for the future?
A: We are investing heavily in building a training program that is self-sustaining, responsible and adaptive to the needs of our organization and the needs of the industry. We are building a new state-of- the-art training center equipped with CNC machines, automation lab, pneumatics, hydraulics lab etc. We hope the training center will give students all the tools needed to nurture their creativity, making the graduates great problem solvers and leaders.