ASDC conclave echoes need to evolve skilling and upskilling at India Auto Inc

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 24 Jul 2019

The Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC), the first-sector skill council of India, organised the ASDC Annual Conclave 2019 today in New Delhi. The conclave focused on bringing industry experts on board to provide key insights for building a skilling ecosystem by partnering with the industry and making skills aspirational. The program consisted of knowledge sharing panel discussions to provide credible and quality training opportunities in the automotive sector.

The day-long event focused on various panel discussions on industry expectations from the skilling ecosystem, vocational skills institutions and industry training centres’ perspective on challenges and opportunities associated with skilling, and thirdly, the role of the state to mobilise and make skills aspirational in the automotive skilling ecosystem.

In the special keynote session, chief guest Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, government of India and Nikunj Sanghi, chairman, ASDC, updated the gathering on the progress made by ASDC. Later a Skill Gap Study Report was launched by Dr Pandey, which highlighted the skill gap which persists in the automotive industry at various levels.

The TCS portal was also launched, which is a step in the direction of digitising automotive skill learning and assessment processes to provide wider access. The portal will help to enable outcome-based skilling, provide job listings, affiliation management and standardised learning delivery through an Automotive Skill Hub.

Panel discussions
The first panel discussion elucidated on the expectations of the automotive industry to source the desired skilled manpower and the current challenges around it, which include aspirational, location and quality gaps. The panel comprised various automotive associations like SIAM, ACMA and FADA.

In the second panel discussion, representatives India Auto Inc and vocational skills institutions presented their viewpoints on the challenges and opportunities associated with the automotive industry. Members of the panel were from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Hella India Lighting , Mahindra Rise, NTTF and  Mangalam University.

The third and final panel discussion was attended by various secretaries and joint secretaries of various state skill development missions. During the dialogue, the apenllists spoke on the challenge of mobilisation at various levels when it comes to skilling and consequently, suggestions were put forward for making skills training aspirational through different state initiatives.

A specially built Eicher Driver Care van, equipped with advanced equipment and skilled staff, was also present at the venue to provide services like vision check-up, hearing test, blood pressure, sugar test and further healthcare recommendations free-of-cost. Also, spectacles were made available to people who came for check-up at subsidised cost. Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) also visited the Eicher Eye care vans and appreciated the initiative by Eicher.

The NSDC also divulged extensive industry-specific insights on how various models of apprenticeship have helped boost skilling in the automotive sector. Various successful case studies on best skilling practices featuring Hero MotoCorp, Sandhar Technologies, Popular Vehicles & Services and Nambirajan Foundation were discussed in detail.

Supporting this objective, Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey said, “The automotive industry contributes 7.5 percent to the overall GDP of the country and through its contribution it is certain to give a boost to the prime minister’s vision of making India a $5 trillion (Rs 34,505,000 crore) economy. In order to achieve this, it is essential that we train our workforce on the latest technologies and make them future ready, using best-in-class infrastructure. I urge the automotive industry to focus on an effective outreach program and mobilise youth in India for skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling programs in collaboration with Skill India mission.”

Rajan Wadhera, president, SIAM, said, “To boost skilling in the automotive sector, there needs to be a consolidated effort from industry leaders in providing training to personnel at various levels. At the same time, impetus by the government is of vital importance to build an aspirational automotive skilling ecosystem. Such initiatives help to mobilise various stakeholders and provide a common platform wherein by sharing key insights we can deliberate and find solutions for various issues being faced in skilling the workforce."

Manish Kumar said, “Making skilling aspirational is an essential task undertaken by NSDC and to promote it in the automotive sector, ASDC is working diligently to skill and upskill the nation’s workforce. The key insights derived basis various industry-specific case studies have been critical in highlighting the effectiveness of boosting skilling at multiple levels with the help of apprenticeship.”

Nikunj Sanghi commented, “My sincere thanks to everyone for coming together to participate in this discussion. It is imperative to build a conversation around the necessity of automotive skill learning by imparting special training, successful mentorship opportunities and refining the process for easy accessibility. This program is a step in the direction of integrating the perspectives of different stakeholders to create a consolidated strategy which can boost skilling in the automotive sector. We at ASDC are committed to becoming a benchmark in the ecosystem which the government is trying to create in skilling India.”

Rajeev Chaba, MD and president, MG Motors India, said “The government has the right intention with proper incentives but the gap in skilling comes in the execution part of it. The question is do we have the right people at the top and middle levels of management."

After sharing few insights on best skilling practices, an award ceremony was held wherein the winners of ‘India Skills’, a biennial competition organised by NSDC under Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), were felicitated by Dilip Chenoy, secretary general, FICCI; Ranjan Choudhary, Head World Skills India.  NSDC; Vikrant Mohan, National President, All India Automobile Workshops Association Founder and P K Kapse, former-MD Eicher Motors.

Delivering the vote of thanks, Arindam Lahiri, CEO, ASDC said: “Sincere thanks to ASDC and its team for facilitating this conclave as a common platform for industry leaders, automobile manufacturers and also vocational training institutes to come together and deliberate on streamlining the automotive skills ecosystem in India. I would also like to thank members of industry bodies like SIAM, ACMA, FADA and NSDC, as well as Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), industry associations like FICCI, CII, PHD Chambers, and finally ASDC’s training, assessment and knowledge partners, for providing key insights into the ground realities of skilling the automotive workforce. With the push of electric vehicles and other innovative technologies in the automobile sector, evolution of skilling and upskilling is the need of the hour.”