Bridging The Skill Divide

The Automotive Industry is an important segment of the global economy, and, its performance often tracks to the broader business cycle. The industry has witnessed radical changes in the past few decades in terms of the overall demand for cars and changes in technology. The impact of such a transition are also felt in the Indian Automotive sector which persists to be a dynamic and closely watched market. Automotive manufacturers in India are posed with a series of challenges that include increased customer demand for more personalised designs, and, in order to remain competitive, they are tasked with creating a more flexible production environment, reducing engineering time and costs, and, accelerating speed to market.

 

Further, the sector is staring at a global skills shortage with only a few engineers qualified to operate sophisticated automated machinery and equipment, or, support the advancements available via emerging technologies. According to McKinsey & Co, by 2020, global profits for automotive OEMs are expected to rise by almost 50 percent. Needless to add, an increase in the demand for cars creates a natural demand for skilled labour. Businesses today, strongly supported by “Skill India Initiative”, are increasingly devising programmes to upskill the present talent pool at various levels to suit the current industry standards.

 

The Manufacturing sector and automotive industry in particular have been on an accelerated growth path. However, companies in India are continuing to grapple with the skill gap issue and are unable to find the requisite qualified talent. Skill gap has become a reality and is perceived to be more prevalent in the manufacturing sector. According to research estimates, the growing skill gap in India is pegged at around 25 crore workers by 2022. Studies also reveal that an average 15 lakh engineers graduate in India every year, and, 20-30 per cent stand unemployed, while several others are employed well below their qualification. The Skill gap paradigm is only bound to aggravate in the future given the growth and development predicted for the Indian automobile segment. To counter this, corporates today are investing heavily in additional skill development and training to bridge this skill gap concern, which will become critical for the growth of the business and the automobile sector at large. Organisations have begun targeted education programmes by collaborating with institutes and academia, and, by developing their own training modules to prepare employable and skilled candidates.

 

In Quotes “Organisations have begun targeted education programmes by collaborating with institutes and academia, and, by developing their own training modules to prepare employable and skilled candidates.

 

The Toyota initiative

 

As a responsible organisation, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd. (TKM) has embarked on a mission to bridge the skill divide through the Toyota Technical Training Institute (TTTI). Established in 2007 within the premises of Toyota’s manufacturing plant at Bidadi near Bangalore, TTTI imparts training to rural students hailing from underprivileged families from across Karnataka. This distinctive initiative by Toyota represents the company’s incessant efforts to bridge the existing skill gap by developing trained personnel to meet the ever-increasing demand of the industry for skilled resources. Through a three-year course, TTTI focuses on developing employable skills among the students and facilitates to improve their quality of life and realize greater employment opportunities. As a responsible corporate, Toyota has always strived towards developing a strong skill force in India and building employable skills and leadership attributes among the not so privileged youth. Toyota believes in playing a much bigger role that goes beyond manufacturing and selling the very best of vehicles. It has also had the honour of conceptualising several education and skill initiatives to promote the industry to the millennials.

 

Training at TTTI is not restricted to classrooms and workshops alone. TTTI exclusively emphasizes on the overall development of the trainees as per industry requirements and towards “Perfecting people”, and thereby, contributing young multi skilled, energetic, ideal students to the nation. The Training Curriculum is a unique blend which focuses on the holistic development of Knowledge (16%), Skill (34%), Body and Mind (50%) of the students.

 

With a structure that ensures education of the highest standard, the curriculum offers a complete learning experience, along with basic subjects, recreational activities, and, comprehensive training on automobile assembly, automobile paint, automobile weld and mechatronics. In addition, students are given practical training by applying the world renowned ‘Toyota Production Systems’ to the various manufacturing processes at the Toyota plant in Bidadi.

 

This comprehensive curriculum of TTTI have opened newer avenues for students in international platforms like National Skill Competition and World Skill Competition (Skill Olympics). TTTI alumni has secured the bronze medal in the Prototype Modelling Skill and 6th position in Mechatronics Skill Category, for the 44th World Skills Competition held at Abu Dhabi in 2017. A student from the 2011 batch also secured 4th position in World Skill Competition 2015 held at Sao Paulo, Brazil and won “Medallion of Excellence.” Besides, 100% of TTTI graduate students are placed in various Industries.

 

The Road ahead

 

The number of direct and indirect jobs to be created by the rapidly growing Indian automotive industry over the next few years is nearly 65 million*. With the changing regulations from Safety, Fuel Efficiency (CAFÉ), Emission norms, there is a continuous need for improvement in vehicle technologies. Therefore, there is a tremendous need for highly trained manpower with right skill sets who understand the modern technology and its advancements, which stresses the need of quality training facilities to impart specialized skills. Corporates are working tirelessly to bridge this widening gap between the availability of skilled manpower and industry requirements, for an accelerated economic growth and steering towards great transformations.

 

TTTI has been selected as a part of a partnership between Japan and India for Human Resource Development. Under this, Toyota Kirloskar Motor will be one the Indo-Japanese companies that will help enhance the manufacturing base of India and contribute to Make-In-India and Skill India, through training 30,000 persons over the next 10 years with Japanese-style manufacturing skills and practices.

 

Sailesh Shetty

 

“India being on fast-growth track, is facing a severe challenge of trained skilled workforce vis-vis industry requirements. Developing skilled workers enhances the efficiency and flexibility of the labour market; reduces skills bottlenecks, enables absorption of skilled workers more easily into the economy, and, improves their job mobility. It is crucial to ensure sustained skilled workforce, if the nation’s economy is to develop and remain competitive in world markets. Toyota’s skill initiatives are more focused towards this direction by scaling-up the right skill sets and levels to make the workforce more sustained and future ready. The changing dynamics of the market demands a more viable skilled workforce to remain ahead on evolving knowledge-base and skill talents under long-term skill mission, which Toyota aims to augment. Our support to youths, provides them with an aspirational platform to face the challenges of the world, which otherwise they are deprived of opportunities, considering the lack of practical skill sets. Our skill trainings exclusively emphasise on the overall development of the trainees towards “Perfecting people” and thereby contributing young multi skilled, energetic, ideal students to the nation with right attitude to build on a sustainable growth path for the country.”

 

Lokesh, Student, TTTI

 

“The training and the best practices shared at TTTI has been excellent & it has transformed me to become an industry-ready employable citizen. I witnessed an overall personality development in self including physical fitness, communication skills, technical know-hows & manufacturing skills. As a part of the TTTI curriculum, the on-job training in the shop floor has given me an insight of the real-working experiences, to develop as an ideal employee. I thank TOYOTA for giving me this wonderful opportunity.”

Sailesh Shetty, is the Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Ltd (TKM) and is responsible for Human Relations, Training & Administration. He joined TKM as the Regional Manager (South & East) and was thereafter promoted as General Manager and Vice President of national sales. He has previously worked in Ind Suzuki (TVS Motors) and Tata Motors. Sailesh holds a B.Tech from National Institute of Technology, Calicut.

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