Mr. Vinod Simon, Chairman, RSDC India, shares the journey of the rubber sector and RSDC’s impact to remould this sector.
Rubber industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Indian economy but is short of skilled manpower that needs to be trained and equipped with requisite skills and training to meet the industry’s requirements. In the absence of availability of adequate skilled manpower, the employers generally recruit freshers for the entry level jobs on the shop floor and train them as per their requirement. To address the Skill Gap in the Rubber Sector, Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC), a key Sector Skill Council was set up by All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA) & Automotive Tyre Manufacturer’s Association (ATMA) in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in July 2012. The main aim of RSDC is skill development for rubber industry by developing the skills foundation so as to increase both the quantity and quality of skilled workforce in the industry. For a more centralized approach, the head office for RSDC was established in New Delhi with regional offices in Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh and state offices in Kerala and Tripura.
RSDC’s job is to ensure that the training is relevant to industry needs and it is aligned with the National Skill Development Policy. Hence, RSDC is tasked with developing a robust training delivery mechanism that follows international standards and quality parameters. RSDC has been mandated to create Occupational Standards and Qualification packs, develop competency framework, conduct Train the Trainer Programs and skill gap studies and Assess & Certify trainees on the curriculum aligned to National Occupational Standards developed by SSC.
RSDC’s key objectives revolve around the following aspects of skill development:
Developing National Occupational Standards for the Rubber Sector where already 66 job roles have been developed for the manufacturing sub-sector and 32 job roles for Natural Rubber sub-sector.
Conducting Skill Gap Analysis which covers manufacturing units available cluster-wise for skill gaps in each job role, current employment and forecasted employment numbers. So far SGA has been conducted in 20 states and UTs.
Training and Development through affiliated training partners based on NOSs created for various job roles. The trainings focuses on developing hands on skills for the trainees, through theoretical and practical sessions, complemented with on-the-job trainings. The curriculum focuses its 60% content on practical aspect and 40% on theory so that students are adept to the industry needs and are, therefore, readily deployable. More than 60,000 candidates have been trained so far in the rubber sector.
RSDC also develops Curriculum and Content for each job role as per the mandate given by Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to publish Standard Trainee Handbook (courseware/content) for every job role that is part of Govt Skilling Programs.
RSDC organizes a ten day “Train the Trainer” program which certifies its participants as an RSDC certified Trainer. This program ensures delivery of NOS based trainings along with long-term commitment values, professionalism in designing and delivering training modules.
Re-skilling the existing workforce employed in the rubber industry, under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), is one of the focus of RSDC.
Creating Industry Tie-Ups so they can benefit from the government schemes and initiatives through re-skilling of existing employees. Industries like Govind Rubber Limited, Metro Tyres and Relaxo Footwear are some such members who have trained and certified more than 10,000 employees. In a similar drive, Rubber Board of India conducted RPL in plantation sector for Tappers in Kerala. More than 10,000 tapers have already been trained and certified. Hon’ble Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship inaugurated the RPL certification ceremony held in Kottayam, Kerala in December 2016. Further, Rubber Board will also conduct RPL in the state of Tripura and Assam. RPL is also being conducted in Punjab, Haryana and Tamil Nadu for manufacturing workforce and plantation sector, respectively.
Tie ups with universities and colleges of RSDC is to introduce vocational and certification courses in rubber technologies. The Bachelor in Vocational Studies (B.Voc) in Rubber Technology, which is approved by UGC of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MoHRD) is being conducted in Tripura University, Tripura, Hindustan University and Dr. M.G.R Educational and Research Institute, Chennai.
Dual Certification are being offered at Kamraj College of Engineering, Madurai, Assam Downtown University, Guwahati, ICFAI, Tripura and B.S Abdur Rahman Crescent University, Chennai.
State government tie ups also help in reaching out to the rural areas for skill development initiatives. RSDC has collaborated with Additional Skills Acquisition Program (ASAP), Govt. of Kerala, Jharkhand Skill Development Mission Society (JSDMS), Punjab Skill Development Mission (PSDM), Tripura Skill Directorate Mission, The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) at Industries Commissionate – Government of Gujarat, Gujarat Skill Development Mission (GSDM), Assam Skill Development Mission (ASDM), Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) and Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation (TNSDC).
RSDC – Current & Near-term focus area
Under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), the Recognition of Prior Learning scheme is a focus area for RSDC currently. This scheme provides a platform to give recognition to the informal learning or learning through work, an equal acceptance as a formal level of education. Under this scheme, the industry members can benefit by getting their employees re-skilled by RSDC certified trainers without incurring any expenses. After successful completion of this re-skilling program, the employee is awarded with a nationalized certificate, mark sheet and a payout. This year RSDC has already retrained more than 10,000 workers and aim to achieve more.
Another major focus area currently is the establishment of Corporate Skill Excellence Centres. The objective behind this scheme is to directly involve the industry to create high quality centres so as to increase youth aspiration towards rubber sector. Through this scheme the government will facilitate the industries, which step up to create such centers, by providing various financial incentives making it lucrative for the industry. The scheme can also help to route the CSR funds through National Skill Development Funds (NSDF) with specific outcomes which will be implemented by NSDC.
RSDC is also in the process of developing next set of NOS for the job roles which are above Supervisor level. So far Skill Gap Analysis has been conducted only in manufacturing sub-sector, which has slowly witnessed a positive shift in the skill development graph of the rubber sector. RSDC is finalizing plans for SGA for the natural rubber plantation sub-sector with the help and support of Rubber Board of India.