Bangalore: The Indian earthmoving and construction equipment (ECE) industry would require around two million skilled workforce by 2020 for operating and maintaining huge volumes of machinery in the infrastructure sector across the country, a industry expert said on Saturday.
"As demand for skilled workforce in the ECE industry is expected to be around two million by 2020, the government and industry players will have to jointly introduce specific courses in industrial training institutes, polytechnics, and vocational training institutes to build the required human capital over the next 10 years," Confederation of India Industry (CII) member V. Ravichandar said at a conference here.
Cautioning the industry that shortage of skilled workforce could stall the growth of manufacturers, after-sales support firms, equipment operators and maintenance firms, Ravichandar said as training initiatives by individual companies were not scalable, there was an urgent need for a collective approach to build skilled workforce in thousands.
"The ECE firms need to collaboratively create an exclusive, nationwide skill initiative with students, institutes and government as stakeholders to enlarge the pool of skilled labour. The industry has to identify the gaps and asses the demand," Ravichandar said.
He was speaking at a conference on "Skill Management in ECE Industry" held as part of the five-day international trade fair of the ECE industry (Excon 2011) at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) on the city's outskirts.
Though the country has about 200 million youth labour force, only eight percent of them are graduates while 75 million are middle school dropouts and 23 million illiterate, he said.
"The government and the industry should jointly mobilise human resources through community reach programmes and create awareness of new job opportunities in the construction and infrastructure sectors," Ravichandar, a member of the CII's southern region sub-committee on skills and employability, asserted.
The industry, which is projected to grow six fold to generate sales revenue of $23 billion in 2020 as against $3.7 billion in 2010, will require about 10 percent post-graduate students for managerial posts, 12 percent engineering graduates, 15 percent diploma/ITI students for supervisory roles and about 50 percent of schools dropouts with or without 12th standard certification.
"ECE firms can enhance skills of the youth with minimal education by imparting short, modular and focused intervention for employing them as equipment operators. For supervisory posts, impart technical training, knowledge of complex operations and machinery and for managerial positions, provide a long-drawn preparation, involving technical or commercial operations," Ravichandar told the industry delegates.
Though the industry has multiple skill requirements, 75 percent of the demand is for basic and supervisory skills, including skills to operate machines such as cranes of different types, hoists, dumpers, forklift trucks and aerial ropeways, among others.
Participants noted that the government's skill training programmes were not market driven and there are funding woes, institutional challenges, quality issues, and student constraints.
"The institutes have to pay more attention to matching the aptitude of students with jobs before training them in order to increase the success rate," Ravichandar added.
First Published: Saturday, November 26, 2011, 22:19