A Competency Framework Model For Developing Blue Collar Trainees

A Competency Framework Model For Developing Blue Collar Trainees

We live in a world where information plays a critical role while making vital decisions, and in order to receive accurate information in planned intervals, the corporate world needs to continually strategize its organisational objectives. The Learning & Development domain has been a function of key importance when it comes to developing the requisite skill set for a defined time frame to deliver customer-oriented results. A robust competency framework is a smart tool that acts as a performance indicator for assessing the skill level of employees at planned frequencies to strategize their training and development interventions.


Plasser India has developed a competency framework model known as “Skill Traffic Light Performance Indicator.” This has proven to be an effective performance indicator for the blue collar trainees in Faridabad for a defined period of rigorous training for their deployment at the upcoming manufacturing plant in Karjan, Gujarat.


This ingenious tool is based on the concept of the colours displayed for a Traffic Light, where Green symbolises expertise in performing a particular activity independently (ready for deployment site), Yellow signifies little support with supervision required to perform the task independently (needs continued class room and on-the-job trainings before deployment) and Red signifies extensive support and training required to perform the tasks independently (not fit for deployment).


For effective dissemination of requisite competencies for the trainees, Plasser created a learning platform comprising of mentors, mentees, and supervisors, where each of them was assigned specific roles and responsibilities to be performed as per the customised learning curriculum. Within this framework, each mentor is assigned 3–4 trainees of respective functional activity, whose job role is to train impart theoretical concepts and train them practically so that they master the art of performing the task independently during the 3 phases of the curriculum viz. Basic Level, Intermediate Level and Advance level which are spread over a duration of one year.


As trainees the mentees are required to attend the periodical trainings (both theoretical and on‑the-job) and memorise them. Thereafter, they undergo periodical review conducted on a monthly basis by the assigned supervisor. They are then rated on their respective tasks using the 3 colours of the defined traffic light model. The role of the supervisor is to take monthly interviews with the trainees and  review the enhancement of the requisite skill set.


The quantified percentages of Green, Yellow and Red competencies are deduced and shared with the functional heads on a monthly basis to keep them apprised with the readiness of the Trainees with respect to level for  the upcoming deployment strategy. The qualifying criteria for a trainee deemed fit for deployment is to achieve 100 % Green in all the Basic level competencies, 75% in Intermediate level competencies and 50% in advance level competencies at defined intervals of the curriculum. In summary, a quote of extreme importance for Learning & Development professionals is, “What we can measure can be controlled and what we can’t measure cannot be monitored or controlled.” Hence, the role of developing Training & Development analytics plays a pivotal role in business strategy decisions.


Glimpse of the Management Level Report for the Performance Indicator signifying the readiness of the Trainees for deployment at site :-


Plasser India manufactures railway track & maintenance machines having its manufacturing set-up over 50 years at Faridabad. They primarily serve to the Indian Railways and a few private customers that include renowned companies such as L&T, Tata, GMR etc. Plasser India has received the HR Excellency Award from the Chancellor of Amity University under the Training & Development category on the Innovative Training Concept and Evaluation strategy developed for the Blue Collar trainees hired for the new upcoming plant in Gujarat.

Abhiroop Banerjee is the Training Officer, Plasser India Pvt. Ltd. He wields an experience of more than 14 years in the manufacturing sector in both corporate as well as a Plant set-up. Abhiroop has an MBA in Human Resources and a Diploma from the Indian Society for Training and Development (ISTD).


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