All the way from Bhutan to learn welding
20-member team is being trained at Sri Ramakrishna Advanced Training Institute, Coimbatore
For 18- year- old Dekiwangmo from Bhutan, welding was nothing more than a word till she came to Coimbatore in April this year.
Having completed her Class X last year, she is now becoming a skilled welder and gearing up for a welding job either here or back home in her country. Dekiwangmo is part of the 20- member team, including four women students, that has come from Bhutan to learn welding at Sri Ramakrishna Advanced Training Institute. The students spend nearly eight hours a day at the Institute, attending classes and getting hands- on experience in welding. The six- month course ends in September.
Another student, 21- year- old Ugyensamten, has studied up to Class XII. He says, “I came here for training as I wanted to learn a skill at a young age. Though there are not many opportunities in Bhutan for welders, there is scope for high demand in the future,” he says. Both Dekiwangmo and Ugyensamten want to have a couple of years experience in welding before deciding their future course. Many of these students are willing to take up jobs in Coimbatore and stay here.
This is the second batch of overseas students going through skill training at the Institute. “We had a batch of 65 students from Nigeria who took a six- month course in welding in 2012.
They were sent by the Nigerian Government. The Bhutan students are send by Druk Institute and the Bhutan Government and the course fee is paid by them,” says K. R. Prasad, director of the Institute.
Workers settled abroad but want advanced knowledge in welding also come here for a 40- day programme, he says.
The 5,300 sq. ft. Institute offers skill training in plumbing and welding for private candidates and those supported by the Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation. It has so far trained 2,500 candidates. Companies taking up Corporate Social Responsibility projects and private firms also send candidates for skill training, says Mr. Prasad.
In the case of plumbing, the Institute is hopeful of getting affiliation to Indian Plumbing Skill Council soon. The training packages are modified according to the requirement of the agency or organisation that sends the students. For instance, the Bhutan students learn soft skills too.