Employees (Workers) skill development and career progression:
Construction Industry is one of the largest sectors in the world and a key contributor to the development process. India is undergoing a major upsurge in its economy, and thus there is also an increasing demand for expertise that meets its growth requirements; there is a steady rise in infrastructure building, with a strong demand for jobs of various trades and skill levels. In the construction industry, expertise and experience are the guiding forces behind the execution of the job. People with higher and stronger skill levels face obstacles more successfully and exploit opportunities. Although some analysts call production and job shifts to the services sector a positive way and a normal transition as the economy grows, there are some significant issues that are troubling economies, including the availability of inputs – materials and energy, equipment and machinery, skilled labour and supervisors. The lack of these inputs is true, as the country has not set up its structures to supply them to the industry that cannot compete without these inputs.
It may be identified that the construction sector in India despite its tough international competition where the global standards of service costs lies at 40% compared to 12-15% in India, needs the involvement of skilled and unskilled workers in the industry. However, the need for development of skills needs to be ensured considering that quality of work needs to be delivered for enhancing its global market positions. Significantly, while the industry with its skilled workers of engineers, technicians, clerical workers and skilled workers is able to enable efficiency in the projects of both real estate and infrastructure, it is essential that career progression is experienced by the unskilled workers as well.
With the exponential development of the construction industry as a result of investments and increased demand for activity, there has been a strong demand placed on various services. Manpower (both skilled and unskilled) is one such resource (both skilled and unskilled) that is pursued in various construction activities – be it real estate or infrastructure growth – and the demand for it is only increasing.
Overview of current skill development initiatives in India
An increasing economy like India involves a huge pool of skilled labour. Though India’s population growth rate has slowed over the last two decades, the labour force is expected to rise by near to 2% in the next few years, adding over 7 million people each year. Furthermore, although the labour market is turning away from the conventional agricultural sector, it still employs the largest proportion of the overall labour force. Construction industry in India has been growing and experiencing changes in terms of technological development and increase in employment levels requiring the need for enabling effective ways based on which it may be considered that skill development needs to be initiated. Accordingly, it is essential for the industry to ensure that it is able to focus on the aspects of being able to enhance development, the government of the country along with the ministry of Labour has been able to undertake certain programmes and measures that ensures to develop the workers’ skills within the industry. Henceforth, it may be identified that the implementation as well as understanding of these initiatives becomes essential.
As jobs move from the rural and largely agricultural sectors to other urban sectors, India recognizes the importance of developing and implementing a very well plan to provide a new range of skills through vocational courses in order to successfully absorb this increased workforce and sustain economic development. However, in order to do so, a strong system of trainers and training institutes must be built. The National Skill Development Council was created with a Rs 10 billion commitment from the government, and Rs 150 billion is anticipated to be generated from other governments, public sector entities, private sector players, regional and international sources. However, the government has increased the allocation of resources in the Budget 2020to Rs.3,000 crore for skill development. Initiatives for skill development have been launched in the private sector by industry associations, industry groups, and internationals. It may be identified that as part of the skill development initiatives, the Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGE&T) has been able to impart training for vocational courses for both engineering and non-engineering trades including carpentry, plumbing, masonry and plastering in relevance to the construction industry.
Skill development projects are also supported by industry bodies. For example, in 2008, FICCI established The FICCI Skills Development Forum (SDF) to support government actions with industry interventions and international collabouration.
The Skill Development Initiative Scheme (SDIS) offers the Modular Employable Skills (MES) scheme. Accordingly, the initiative was launched in 2007-08 in order to ensure that the growing requirement for skilled workforce is fulfilled within the industry with the development and providing of short-term courses for the workers. Within three years of the launch of the project it was possible for the creation of 1108 modules including Moduler Employable Skills across 48 sectors in the Indian economy. The Ministry of Labour and Employment created the MES, a main policy framework for skill development for early school leavers and existing workers, particularly in the unorganized sector, in close collabouration with industry, micro-enterprises in the unorganized sector. Existing employees’ levels of skill can also be tested and certified under this scheme, i.e., certification of prior/experiential learning. Public-private partnership (PPP) is anticipated as active involvement of the sector in all stages of scheme development and implementation. The MES framework has the capability to go a long way toward furthering skill development since it has provided a structure for numerous entry and exit, as well as shifting skill development from long term skills development intervals (1 to 2 years) to short term skills development periods (about 3 months).
Considering that the performance of the construction sector needs to be improved through skill development of the workers, the Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) was able to set up Construction Industry Vocational Training Council as the highest authority of ensuring that Human Resource Development initiatives have been induced with a focus on secondary segment of population. Considering the same initiative of human resource development the vocational training is conducted for population groups having secondary level of education or workers certification and hence, be educated through the courses under the scheme. Thus, the CIDC took an initiative in order to ensure that various infrastructure developments in the construction sector could be initiated thus, enhancing efficiency through human resources’ skill development.
The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is India’s first Public-Private Partnership. Its goal is to facilitate skill development by facilitating the establishment of significant, high-quality, for-profit vocational institutions. It generates feasibility gap funding to cover the growth of scalable, for-profit vocational training programs. Its aim is to contribute substantially (approximately 30%) to India’s overall target of skilling/up skilling 500 million people by 2022, predominantly by encouraging private sector investments in skill development programs and ensuring viability gap funding. The NSDC is a non-profit corporation established by the Ministry of Finance under Section-25 of the Companies Act. It has a Rs. 10 crore equity base, with the government contributing for 49 per cent and the private sector accounting for the remaining 51 per cent.
Few other Government initiatives for skill development in construction sector are;
- PradhanMantriKaushalVikasYojana (PMKVY)
- Construction Skill development council of India ( CSDCI)
- National Skill Development Agency (NSDA & (NSDC)
- Construction Workers Federation (CWF) at the State and National level
- Construction Welfare Boards (CWB) Building and other construction workers welfare Cess act, 1996. & Building and other Construction workers (regulation of conditions &service) act, 1996.
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