LSSC conducted the first Governing Council (GC) for the year 2018-19 on 4th August 2018 at Chennai. The meeting was held in the presence of Shri Habib Hussain, Chairman, Leather Sector Skill Council; Shri R. Ramesh Kumar IAS, CEO – LSSC; Shri Nari Kalwani, Member; Shri Israr Ahmed, Member; Shri Rajesh Rathnam, COO – LSSC; Dr. B. Chandrasekaran, Director, CLRI; A.R. Rajesh, Consultant, LSSC.
The chairman welcomed the members and presented the agenda for the meeting and the backdrop in which the skill development initiatives are undertaken by the Government of India. He reiterated the need to fill the skill gap for improving productivity and quality in the leather industry. He touched upon developments in the evolving skills ecosystem and how leather industry is privileged to be a board member of NSDC. One of the important aims of NSDC is to get industry participation through expertise in creating best practices and setting standards through Qualification Packs (QPs) and National Occupational Standards (NOS). He also spoke about the PMKVY scheme and how it is being carefully monitored through a dashboard to ensure desired outcomes in training and placement of youth. Conveying the significance of Skill India, he said that the performance is overseen by the Hon’ble Prime Minister under the leadership of the minister Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan.
He encouraged the members to interact with the industry and institutions like FDDI to set training standards. He clarified that the LSSC would be working closely with organizations to create a set of norms and productivity standards along with the existing 52 Qualification Packs, 10 National Occupational Standards (NOS) and volumes of training materials. He also said that, in future, the LSSC portal would provide all the information and updates on various projects in skill development and placements. He was of the view that the portal should work like an e-commerce platform that connects many stakeholders and each one can view and interact with others in real time. The standards could be viewed by the managers and adopted at their workplace. The chairman also suggested that a Chinese expert could be invited to share expertise and set new benchmarks in the industry.
After the approval of the minutes of the previous meeting held on 20th March 2018, Mr. Ramesh Kumar IAS, explained that Ministry of Skill Development wants a platform which will be headed by the industry itself, hence LSSC will play an important role in coordinating for skilling to facilitate capacity building. He explained that RPL is very important because it is aligned with the industry requirements and helps employees understand their knowledge and skill levels.
His address was followed by a presentation by Mr. Rajesh Rathnam that mentioned the shift in focus from target-driven training to demand-driven training and updated the members on current programs.
Updates on training and RPL
One of the highlights of the meeting was the presentation on Apprenticeships:
Apprenticeship and NAPS
Mr Rathnam explained that the Apprenticeship Act has been amended to create National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS). The implementation of NAPS is being coordinated by NSDC and SSC with the CEOs of SSCs being appointed as Joint Apprenticeship Advisors. The scheme is backed by monetary incentives to the employer, the apprentice and the Basic Training Provider. LSSC has conducted workshops in Agra and Noida and plans to do the same in Mumbai and Kanpur. The process of engaging an apprentice is simplified for ease of participation from the industry and the entire procedure is completed through the online portal on apprenticeships.
The scheme has elements of German Dual Model and NSDC has assigned a target of 1.5 lakh apprentices for the leather industry. This would be supported by a separate panel for training the trainers through master trainers by following standard practices. In addition, master supervisors from the industry would play a key role implementing apprenticeships in the factory environment.
Training of Supervisors and Line Managers
A committee was formed with Dr Swarna from CLRI to develop a supervisor level training program since manager and supervisor level training was identified as a key area of skill development. The Qualification Packs developed for these roles are yet to be approved by NSDC. The program comprises core occupational standards for supervision skills, technical skills, health, safety and compliance. At the end of the training the supervisors would improve delivery management, waste reduction, compliance commitments etc. The eligibility would be 3 years of experience without any formal education barriers.
Towards the ends of the meeting, Mr. Habib Hussain and Mr. Rajesh Rathnam presented the financial statements to the council and it was passed by the auditor. The Director’s Report for 2017-2018 was presented and approved. It was also decided the next AGM of LSSC will be on the same day as the AGM of CLE.