Manufacturing is one of the crucial industry sectors in India. The potential for employment in this sector is immense with new-age, digital technologies disrupting the industry. Training the candidates in the evolving technologies has become mandatory to cater to the requirements of skilled workforce in this sector.
To know more about the emerging technology trends and the scope for skill development in the new-age manufacturing sector, we conversed with Mr. Ranjan Choudhury, Head- Partnerships, Vocational Education, TCS iON.
Below are a few excerpts from our conversation. You can watch the full video on our YouTube channel.
Q: How are the new-age technologies being adopted in the manufacturing sector and what are the skill requirements to cope with the technology trends in the sector?
A: The government policies are looking at promoting the manufacturing sector and MSMEs are the backbone in terms of manufacturing in India. Over the years, the MSME sector has evolved with many emerging trends.
To keep up with the trend, the MSME sector is also adopting new-age technologies for more efficient production methods and the new generation is looking at changing the entire way of working for the MSME sector. However, technology adoption has brought a greater challenge in building a skilled workforce who can manage the new-age technologies and the production methods which come along with Industry 4.0.
Q: How the training institutions should update their curriculum to align it better with the evolving technologies?
A: India has a more structured and widespread network for the training of manpower. And many training centres including ITIs and DGTs have been gradually aligning their course curriculum to the industry requirements. While the change has already started, we still need to be more involved in creating awareness about the programme to create a pool of skilled workforce for the manufacturing and MSME sectors.
TCS iON understands that training in the manufacturing sector can be challenging at times due to the needs of the industry. As a result, we have established both certification and diploma programmes to address skill gaps in embedded electronics and mechatronics maintenance, among other areas. A diverse range of stakeholders, including government ITIs and polytechnics, have expressed interest in the programmes to increase the supply of skilled workforce in the sector.
Q: How does WorldSkills perceive the manufacturing industry?
A: Apart from the WorldSkills competitions, WorldSkills as an institution have 60 trades and a lot of them are from the manufacturing sector. The job roles that they have in the manufacturing sector are not narrow compared to India. And the focus of WorldSkills is more on multi-skilling as a multi-skilled workforce is the need of the hour! Secondly, all the WorldSkills competitions are based on WorldSkills standards. All the job roles are based on a global standard, the technical description that looks at the knowledge of a candidate to perform the job role with the required proficiency. The competencies they exhibit are measured transparently. So, the entire WorldSkills methodology is revamped with the standards, training and assessment framework that several countries have adapted and adopted within their system.
India in the last 10 years had seen success in being able to percolate the competency-based training and assessment right to the district, state and national level competitions. It is having a large cadre of trainers both from ITI and industry professionals who are helping to build a competency framework in the country. To keep up with the trends, WorldSkills have introduced a lot of job roles like robot system integration, renewable energy, industry 4.0 based job roles etc., so there is a learning and if we do it in a much more structured manner, there is a chance to create the workforce aligned to global norms.
Q. What is your opinion on offering courses in the phygital model in the manufacturing sector?
A:The manufacturing sector has already shifted to phygital learning which further accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Training in the manufacturing sector is a bigger challenge than in the services sector. The key challenge in the manufacturing sector is to identify the training infrastructure that will provide hands-on practical experience to the trainees along with the theoretical knowledge. At TCS iON, there is intense training to identify such infrastructure.
However, we believe that the blended model will allow quality training even for the manufacturing sector to be available across the country.
Q. How the future of skill development in manufacturing can be perceived in the phygital mode?
A: ITIs and polytechnic institutions will continue to evolve as there are multiple methods for training. However, at TCS iON, we have partners like NTTF through which we introduced almost 15 courses in the skill sets that are in demand. To supplement their existing courses, several private ITIs and polytechnic institutions and skill development institutions have also expressed their interest in delivering these courses, which are aligned with the government’s choice-based credit system. This will also allow students to take their learning in a modular fashion with multiple entry-exit systems.
Also Read: 5 Imperatives to make ITI courses aspirational https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/5-imperatives-to-make-iti-courses-aspirational/
Q: Is there anything else you wish to share with regard to skill development in manufacturing?
A: When job roles are considered beyond simply blue-collar, people’s perceptions of vocational courses will progressively shift. So, there is a need to produce more role models who are successful by pursuing such new-age professions and progressing both academically and professionally to make the opportunities evident to other aspiring students.
The collaboration of many players in the skilling ecosystem, such as industry, academia, and entities like TCS iON, which is bringing a digital aspect to skilling and also assisting in the assessment, will change the entire landscape.