Making Every Skill Count!
A report on the various policies and schemes that are benefiting the common worker of the apparel industry
Rapid globalisation is pushing open the boundaries of the textile industry as a whole. From development in weaving and production techniques to changing the way in which labour is being treated, every sector of the industry is experiencing a serious overhaul. A lot of changes and advancement are being brought about at each segment so as to push the entire value chain towards growth. Skill development is one of the most prominent aspects among all the big and small changes taking place in favour of the industry. Nurturing the skills of textile workers is a very important requirement, as honing the right skills will allow more textile labourers to find their appropriate and niche-specific jobs. Unlike earlier times when workers enjoyed a low status, the coming to power of the Modi government has identified them as the strength of the country. This is why it brought into action the Skill India policy.
Under this policy, the Government lists out a life cycle of training and training centre appointment. Firstly, the Training Partner Registration & Training
Centre Creation is undertaken, then accreditation and affiliation of the centre happens, which is closely monitored on a regular basis. The training centre is only given a renewal licence if its performance is seen to match government expectations. Skill generation and imparting the right training is just one aspect of the Skill India initiative. Regulation of the right jobs to this skilled workforce is the next and most important aspect of skill development.
FUTURE OF TEXTILE WORKERS IN TERMS OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Textile Sector Skill Council (TSC), a non-profit organisation working under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), has been set up to benefit the Indian textile industry. Under the current Chairmanship of Shri T Rajkumar, TSC conducted a sensitisation programme through the active support of SIMA for the handloom and powerloom industries and the small and medium size textile mills on December 8, 2018. The programme primarily focuses on the various activities of TSC and ways by which the small and medium units, namely handlooms and powerlooms, knitting and processing, OE spinners and small-scale spinning units, and mills can benefit out of the skill development schemes.
Shri T Rajkumar briefed the participants about the TSC and requested them to take advantage
SKILL GENERATION AND IMPARTING THE RIGHT TRAINING IS JUST ONE ASPECT OF THE SKILL INDIA INITIATIVE.
HANDLOOM WEAVERS ARE DIRECTLY BENEFITTED UNDER THE RPL SCHEME.
of the schemes. Dr J V Rao, CEO, TSC, apprised the audience of the schemes and the various tangible benefits available to the beneficiaries.
To resolve the problems being faced by handloom weavers and to contribute to their socio-economic development, TSC has been actively working to recognise and certify the skills of weavers across the country. Tamil Nadu alone constitutes 20 per cent of the 82,000 recognised and certified weavers under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) scheme. Under this scheme, handloom weavers are educated about digital learning, mobile banking, importance of e-commerce, and health and hygiene in the working area. Handloom weavers are directly benefitted under the RPL scheme by means of: a) Recognition and status in the society through GoI recognised certificates, b) Personal accident insurance (including death and permanent disability) cover of R2 lakh for three years from the date of certificate by New India Assurance Co. Ltd, c) Eligibility to get loans under various schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, d) R500/- one-time compensation for their wage loss, e) Free access to DigiBunai CAD software, and f) Career path – provision to get 10th grade certificate (Handloom) from the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for school dropouts.
To help the textile mill sector, especially in Tamil Nadu, to meet its manpower requirement, TSC has been instrumental in getting the training targets released to the textile mills under short duration programmes of up to two months. Direct manpower engaged so far across India to train under the Short-Term Training (STT) is 42,760 and out of these, 65 per cent were for Tamil Nadu textile mills.
TSC is also helping the Tamil Nadu mills to meet their huge requirement of skilled workforce through job melas. So far, TSC has channelised about 30 textile industries in more than 20 Rozgar (job) melas. As result of the initiatives, more than 5,000 candidates were selected by the industries through the job melas. TSC has directly engaged with states such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Assam to conduct textile-exclusive job melas and has received a huge response from the textile mills of Tamil Nadu.
THE NEED FOR SKILLED LABOUR
Back in 2012, it was estimated that the Indian textile industry would create job opportunities for more than 10 million workers. This was because the industry had been under the radar of appreciation at various global levels since years. The scenario that began in 2012 has not changed much; the dynamics of course have. Since the start of the Skill India initiative, more and more skilled labourers have been appointed at various levels of the textile industry. However, that has only fulfilled five per cent of the vacant positions. There are more opportunities and vacancies still left within the industry that remains to absorb a bigger workforce.
The development of the textile industry brought about a greater development within the ancillary sector of the industry that connected the dots for the entire value chain. This in return is indicative of economic growth. However, growth, especially that of the textile industry, is not possible unless the labourers are given a backbone of skill development. Majority of the textile workers are well-versed with handloom skills. But to face growth, the powerloom sector needs to progress too and that’s where skill comes as a fill-in-theblank. So, in order to modernise the industry so that every sector equivocally responds to the global requirements, every strata of the industry needs to utilise the skill development movement initiated by the Modi government.
TSC IS ALSO HELPING THE TAMIL NADU MILLS TO MEET THEIR HUGE REQUIREMENT OF SKILLED WORKFORCE THROUGH JOB MELAS.