GJSCI’s New Chairman Presents Future Roadmap For Skilling & Training
Founded in 2012, under the aegis of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and currently functioning under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), The Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI) aims to impart and skill workers related to all the fields in the industry and make sure that the next generation of artisans willingly join the industry.
GJSCI held a press meet at the Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery (IIGJ) in Mumbai last month to introduce its new chairman Sanjay Kothari, who was the past chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Rajeev Garg has stepped in as the new executive director and CEO.
In his keynote address, Kothari said that the gem and jewellery industry employs 4.64 million people and plans to give jobs to an additional 3.59 million people over the next decade. Despite being the major diamond cutting and polishing hub, with a strong jewellery manufacturing base, Kothari lamented that India was not among the main jewellery sourcing centres for top global brands. “Italy, China and Hong Kong are the main destinations of sourcing branded jewellery,” he noted, adding, “India should also enter into that space, and Indian manufacturers should supply jewellery to top global brands. But to achieve that goal, the industry has to work as one force.” He urged the training institutes and industry bodies to come forward to work as partners and take the skilling programmes ahead.
He noted that the primary mandate of the GJSCI was to upgrade skills of the current workforce and train the trainers, improve designing skills through manufacturing and quality control. “We have to take the previous chairman Premkumar Kothari’s legacy forward,” he said.
Till date, GJSCI has taken several steps ahead in keeping with its mandate. It has trained and certified 133,230 candidates under its Short Term Training (STT) course, and 24,141 artisans under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme. GJSCI is also affiliated with over 150 training partners and 36 assessment agencies across the country, and has enlisted 938 assessors, as well as 906 trainers.
The aim is to train the additional 3.59 million people and enable them to work in modern factories. In his presentation, Garg said, “The GJSCI’s mandate is already in place. The council does not train
people directly, instead it creates infrastructure and engages training partners.”
The mandate was to create a skilling ecosystem for the gems and jewellery industry by engaging training partners and assessment agencies; to train the trainers nominated by the training partners for conducting training in qualification packs and certify them; and to certify the assessors and engage assessment agencies, for certification of candidates trained by the training partners; identification of skill development needs, including preparing a catalogue of types of skills, range and depth of skills to facilitate individuals to choose from them; develop a sector skill development plan and maintain skill inventory among others.
Highlighting some key initiatives being undertaken by GJSCI, Garg spoke about Project Vanika, an initiative to train tribal women in the art of jewellery making to enable them to earn a livelihood and, in turn, reduce the rate of migration among tribal communities. In the pilot phase alone, over 1,200 women have been trained so far, and they earn I1,500 to I2,000 every month working from home in their spare time. GJSCI has proposed to the tribal ministry, Government of Maharashtra, to train 12,000 women in the art of jewellery making that will help them become self-reliant.
Project Rupaantar is dedicated to transform the lives of prisoners, especially first-time offenders, by imparting skills and helping them secure a source of income while they are still serving their term. Once they are released from jail, these skills can ensure a better future for them, allowing them to live a life of dignity. GJSCI has completed training of two batches in the pilot phase, and regular work is being provided to the trained inmates. On paper, a proposal to train over 800 inmates in Tihar and Mandoli jails of Delhi has been approved by NSDC as a special project.
GJSCI’s Project Hupari has been closely involved in transforming this small silver town which is famous for producing silver anklets. There are about 20,000 artisans engaged in silversmithing in six nearby villages of Hupari. The council has introduced advanced technology in place of ancient methods that are followed in Hupari. The new-age techniques will have a positive impact on qualitative and quantitative production of silver ornaments. The ministry of skill development, Government of Maharashtra has approved lakh through District Planning and Development Council (DPDC), Kolhapur, for the project, and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is currently working on a proposal for building a training and common facility centre there.
GJSIC looks forward to gain larger participation from the industry and attract fresh focus on its various skilling activities and initiatives.
At the time of going to press, GJSCI announced that along with NSDC it was going to conduct a roadshow in SEEPZ on 26th October where in the Joint Secretary from the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India would be present to highlight the new features of revamped Apprenticeship Act 1961 and National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS).
The new chairman called upon training institutes to join hands with GJSCI towards imparting skilling as an assessment agency or training partner as all the curriculum and qualification packs are aligned to NSQF levels based on international standards.
Kothari insisted that soft skills, too, play an important role in skilling and workers should be imparted the 4Cs – namely, they should be cooperative, courteous, confident and committed. He believes that this will improve their company management skills and help them in becoming successful entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
According to Kothari, the industry has to be open to training its workforce, even if it means an increase in cost to company. In the long run, it will benefit both the manufacturer and the skilled workforce to improve quality and productivity, thus resulting in sustainable growth.
“Soft skills, too, play an important role in skilling and workers should be imparted the 4Cs – namely, they should be cooperative, courteous, confident and committed. Kothari believes that this will improve their company management skills and help them in becoming successful entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”
(From left) Retail management expert Dr. Gibson Vedamani, GJSCI chairman Sanjay Kothari, GJC director of finance Manoj Jha, and GJSCI executive director and CEO Rajeev Garg, fielding questions at the event.
GJSCI chairman Sanjay Kothari addressing the press meet.
Rajeev Garg, CEO and executive director, elaborates on the way forward.