The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we work. In India, even before the pandemic, the issue of unemployability of youth was considerable. However, now with the new work dynamics that include remote work (work from home) and automation, the gap between the availability of jobs and compatible employees with the appropriate skill set has widened further.
The pandemic has dealt a major blow to the global economy. This has led thousands of people to lose their jobs and means of living. The unemployment numbers have shot up drastically. The need to skill more people and rehabilitate them in the economy has never been felt more before. While the government is focusing on holding the country and the economy together, India Inc. through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives has taken up the task of skill development in the country.
Some of the notable CSR initiatives in skilling include:
Industree Foundation’s POWER Project
The Covid-19 pandemic has witnessed a devastating impact globally, especially in the Creative Manufacturing sector. The impact has been direct and severe, with livelihoods and businesses grinding to a halt. Industree Foundation’s “Producer-Owned Women Enterprises” (POWER) Project, supported by USAID creates inclusive and transparent integrated value chains, with an increased degree of supply chain traceability, bringing gainful livelihoods all the way down to the source – the farming communities, thereby enabling them to opt out of existing exploitative systems and become part of a more equitable and ethical supply chain. They have been working with rural women producers in Tamil Nadu, the Kui tribe in Odisha, and the Medhar artisan community in Karnataka, to design and produce Natural Fibre and Non-Timber forest produce (NTFP), while building sustainable and equitable business models around them.
The POWER Project is aimed at improving the status of rural women in the economy by providing them with job opportunities to improve their lifestyle and move out of poverty. In collaboration with the state governments and forest departments, the program aims to strengthen these rural artisan women’s place in the marketplace. The only Indian Foundation to be funded by Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative project, the program aims to bring 6800 women into the livelihood value chain.
Sathya Sai Skill Training Centre by Srinivasan Services Trust (CSR arm of TVS Motor Company)
Srinivasan Services Trust in collaboration with Sathya Sai Seva Foundation has initiated the Sathya Sai Skill Training Centre to improve the competency of the youth members and make them employable for their self-sustainability. The training centre offers a wide range of certified training courses in electrical, plumbing, tailoring, masonry, and mechanics for the youth in the villages across Tamil Nadu. The trust conducts both theoretical and practical examinations to evaluate the performance of the participants. After completion of 3 months of training, the beneficiaries are rewarded with certificates. The trust also provides with certified tailoring training for young women in the age group of 18-30 in Erikuppam village, near Padavedu to improve their productivity, ensure economic empowerment and build their confidence.
The trust has been closely working with local institutes and various government departments towards imparting both soft skills and technical education to the economically weaker background across villages in Tamil Nadu. The trust has been consistently organizing skill development programmes like training sessions, job mela, and programs with partner organizations. Such initiatives have benefitted 45000 rural youth, out of which 90% of them were employed.
ICICI Academy for Skills
ICICI Academy for Skills is the flagship initiative of ICICI Foundation. It aims at addressing identified skill gaps in urban India and providing sustainable employment opportunities to the underprivileged youth. From its first centre that was established in Jaipur in 2013, it has grown to 27 centres across 19 states and one union territory. ICICI Academy for Skills acts as a bridge between youth who are seeking employment and recruiters, by providing industry-relevant, job-oriented vocational training courses. ICICI Academy provides training in 13 courses.
Till 31 March 2020, ICICI Academy for Skills has transformed the lives of over 1.45 lakh urban youth through its pro bono skilling and placement interventions. Thus far, 42% of our beneficiaries are women. It is a matter of great pride and satisfaction for us that 100% of our trainees, who opted for job placement, have found suitable employment through ICICI Academy’s vast network of placement partners.
Enabling and empowering the marginalized, so that they become agents of change lies at the very heart of GAIL’s Skill development centric initiatives. GAIL in the past year operated two GAIL Institute of Skills (GIS) in Nagaram, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh and Guna, Madhya Pradesh. Out of the 88 candidates trained in trades of Industrial Electrician (Oil & Gas), Industrial Welder (Oil & Gas) and Draughtsman Mechanical, 67 have been placed in their respective job sectors. Skill training in trades such as welding technician, industrial electrician, customer-care executive, unarmed security guard and CNC machining technician have been provided to 344 candidates with a placement rate of 70%.
GAIL is the nodal PSU for Skill Development Institute, Raebareli, the first skill academy set-up in the Hydrocarbon Sector in the state of Uttar Pradesh. GAIL is currently supporting establishment and operation 06 Skill development Institutes in Raebareli (UP), Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Kochi (Kerala), Vizag (Andhra Pradesh), Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Guwahati (Assam), jointly promoting it with other PSUs. A total of 2322 candidates have been trained in the 06 SDIs through GAIL’s proportional contribution of Rs. 23 crores in FY 2019-20.
In line with the business verticals of the company, GAIL has partnered with Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET) to train 221 candidates as ‘Plastic Products manufacturing Operators’.
Tata Power TPSDI
Tata Power, through its skill development endeavour, Tata Power Skill Development Institute (TPSDI), strives to bridge the skill-gap in the Indian power sector and allied industries while training youth with employable skills. Recognizing this effort, TPSDI was conferred with the Best Project in the Education & Skill Training category at the 2019 CSR Journal Excellence Awards as well as the 2019 Global Training & Development Leadership Awards.
The award recognises the impact of TPSDI’s training programs that enhance the skills of the trainees and thus their employability. Since its establishment, TPSDI has trained more than 43,000 people. TPSDI’s robust training programs have resulted in skill gain and the ISO:29990 certified Institute has a rigorous process that tracks the effectiveness of its training by not only assessing the skills and knowledge gained by the trainees but also by monitoring them when they secure employment. TPSDI currently provides placements to 75% of the eligible youth trained at the Institute.
The Institute provides modular training and certification across a wide range of employable skills. TPSDI was launched on Feb 9, 2015 as part of Tata Power’s Centenary Year celebrations by the Tata Group Chairman. TPSDI, currently has five training centres across India leveraging the facilities of Tata Power. Apart from Tata Power, TPSDI also trains engineers and technicians from other organizations and offers courses for engineering college students, enabling them to acquire skills that bridge the gap between academics and industry. The Institute consciously works towards providing greater access to its courses to the members of disadvantaged sections of the society and those in the below-poverty-line (BPL) category.
Tech Mahindra SMART Centres
SMART centres train youth from economically weaker sections of the urban community with the requisite employability skills through a structured training program, ensuring that they are placed in suitable dignified jobs. The program places great emphasis on foundational skills for a job such as Spoken English, Basic IT and Workplace Readiness. In SMART, there are a total of 15 domains and 63 courses that the students can opt from SMART, SMART+ (for persons with disabilities) and SMART-T (Technical) Centres.
The SMART program offers vocational training in diverse domains across the service as well as the manufacturing industry. The program provides training in courses such as Foundation skills and domain-specific areas that are aligned to the QP (qualification pack) and NOS (National Occupation Standards) as specified by the Sector Skill Council.
The Training Manuals are detailed and easy to comprehend. A robust system of regular assessments and certification on successful completion of the training is an integral part of the program. Youth graduating from SMART centres are successfully placed in the service and manufacturing sectors. The SMART program has a live Management Information System that helps in monitoring and evaluation of quantitative and qualitative data across all locations.
Nayara Energy Harnessing Women Power through Micro-Enterprises
Nayara Energy, a new-age downstream energy company has been consistently working towards increasing the education and livelihood index in communities near the refinery in Vadinar, Gujarat. The Company incessantly work towards sustaining its legacy of inclusive development and being a responsible “neighbour of choice” for the communities around its refinery. The company believes that women need to be at the forefront of driving change in the communities. Therefore, it supports and facilitates micro-enterprises, empowering women in the community to make informed financial decisions for their households.