In the Board Meeting held on 11th July 2019 at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, the members and special invitees discussed few important aspects of skill development and industry engagement in the leather sector. Besides deliberations on the key items on the agenda, the members welcomed the new Chairman, LSSC, Mr. P. R Aqeel Ahmed and acknowledged with applause the contributions of the outgoing Chairman Mr Habib Hussain. Among the dignitaries present, Mr. Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, NSDC shared his views on how LSSC is one of the vibrant Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) and consolidate their efforts to deepen the outreach.
The meeting began with a welcome address by Mr. Habib Hussain with a special note of thanks for Mr. Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, NSDC for gracing the occasion with his presence. After the confirmation of the minutes of the last GC meeting and approval of Director’s Report for 2018-19, the members were briefed about the change in chairmanship of LSSC. Mr. R.K Jalan, Member, wholeheartedly acknowledged the contributions of Mr. Habib Hussain in guiding LSSC with his vision for developing a skilled workforce for the leather and non-leather industry. He also suggested that there was a need to develop Qualification Packs for Tannery and Footwear sector, especially in Footwear Components.
Placing a need for creating Centers of Excellence (CoE), he emphasized on the importance of upgrading the skills and continuously develop the competencies. This was also needed to implement the SSC Transit 2.0 Strategy and operating guidelines and the need to upgrade the skilling ecosystem. He stated that the funds from NSDC should be used for this purpose by overcoming the conservative approach followed so far.
Mr Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, NSDC, added few points that could benefit the creation of CoEs. He referred to the upcoming World Bank Fund for skilling projects, under which 50% grant is given if the industry mobilizes to bring the rest 50% of fund. He reiterated financial support to LSSC for promoting good ideas from the industry. Quoting the example of NSDC partnership with global institutions in the Retail Sector, he said the same could be followed by leather sector. He exhorted LSSC to have an ambitious and aggressive approach towards skilling the workforce to keep pace with dynamic needs of the industry.
Shri Shafeeq Ahmed brought in need for imparting Soft Skills training to the mid level and managerial levels since the QPs have already covered skills needed at the shop floor level.
Shri Habib Hussain proposed that Shri P.R. Aqeel Ahmed, Chairman-CLE may be appointed as new Chairman, LSSC and this was seconded by Shri R.K. Jalan; the members unanimously resolved to appoint Shri P.R. Aqeel Ahmed as Chairman, LSSC.
Shri P.R. Aqeel Ahmed while accepting the Chairmanship of LSSC, thanked the members and said that it was a challenging task and requested all members for their support and cooperation. He thanked Shri Habib Hussain who had represented LSSC as Chairman for the last seven years and he had created a mark at NSDC on behalf of the leather industry.
Mr Habib Hussain requested Mr. Rajesh Rathnam, COO to take over the responsibilities of CEO, LSSC in the light of resignation of Mr. Ramesh Kumar IAS, who has moved back to his parent cadre in Uttar Pradesh. Mr. Rathnam’s role would be formally approved after completion of certain obligatory processes.
The members also deliberated on the request to change the name of LSSC to accommodate non-leather and domestic industry and that the Minister for Skill Development has also advised the same. Smt. Revathy Roy suggested that Fashion Products shall be tagged in the name. Mr. Noushad said ‘Footwear and Accessories’ should be added to the name. Mr Aqeel Ahmed the name will be finalized in the next meeting.
Projecting the need to have LSSC representation in Kerala, Mr Noushad suggested that one person may be dedicated to Kerala since it has 200 factories in and around Calicut. Mr. Rajesh Rathnam informed that LSSC has already appointed one of its Executives to cater to Kerala.
The meeting concluded with the Chairman, LSSC to decide on date, time and venue of the next meeting of the Governing Council.