Godrej shows the way to hone skills

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on July 25, 2014

Workers and students learn the tricks of the trade through LabourNet

Enlisting in a training course for masonry and plastering proved to be a turning point for 25-year-old Ansar Alam, whose career in the construction industry appears to be cemented. Part of a programme by Godrej Properties at the Anandam project in Nagpur, conducted in association with LabourNet, Alam was among many who received vocational training to improve their skill sets and learn the tricks of the trade in a more systematic and technical way.

“There is an urgent need for vocationalisation of education,” said Gayathri Vasudevan, CEO of LabourNet Services, that works with the country’s large informal workforce to improve their skills.

In partnership with the Haryana Government, National Skill Development Corporation and Godrej Consumer Products Ltd, LabourNet has conducted vocational education in 130 schools in 20 districts of Haryana.

“We have introduced four to five sector specific training courses in Haryana. Some 240 schools run vocational training across seven sectors, including automobiles, retail, healthcare, and beauty and wellness. Around 4,000 girls have participated in these programmes,” said Vasudevan.

Last year, LabourNet conducted a beauty and wellness programmes in 71 schools, and physical education and sports in 19 schools. Beauty and wellness was such a popular course that LabourNet had to run a parallel after-school programme for the girls and women in the community.

Bajaj Electricals has also teamed up with Labournet and developed an entrepreneurial programme to train unemployed youth and to create a rural distribution channel for their products. The first batch was started at Silliguri in West Bengal.

Another vocational course that has gained ground in schools is in the field of gems and jewellery, and banking and financial services.

Expansion plans

Vasudevan said they were expanding the initiative. “We now have it in 250 schools, and are eager to add another 100 schools this year,” she added. With the Central Government stating that 2 lakh students in private schools could be trained, LabourNet is gearing up to expand in schools across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.

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Published on July 25, 2014
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