A 2-track training system needed in construction industry

L&T carries out refresher courses and training at sites through mock ups, etc. for specific tasks.

Finding the right skills in the construction industry is the biggest challenge. It is difficult to get skilled, competent workers like the good Mates/Charge hands below the supervisor level, who can monitor, execute and coordinate the works on the ground. Further, workers lack hands on experience and the will to use their hands to do the work. They are more inclined on getting certified, which may help them in getting government jobs, but not excellence in their work. In fact, using this psychology of workers some skill providers are certifying people focusing more on minting money thereby diluting all the training norms.

Skills and job roles that need immediate attention in the construction sector are shuttering formwork carpentry, bar-bending by hand and also CNC, aluminum and glazing works, masonry and concreting, HT construction electricians, riggers, and safety supervisors. To overcome these skill gaps an apt system to train people in this sector is very much required. A two track training system needs to be evolved. First track should involve structured institutional based training having courses/modules of three to six months and second track should involve short modules varying from three to 21 days for the existing/experienced workers at the sites. In addition to the above, all clients should have a mandate that at least 20% workers at their sites need to be trained and certified through Sector Skills Councils (SSC) or by the concerned industry to meet their requirements.

Further, the onus of training can primarily lie with the employer in association with the skill/training provider. The training funds can be routed through SSC or the concerned industry and the industry should get to select the training providers. Moreover, each company in this sector needs to establish and run at least one skills training institute and provide two trainings at the site.

In fact, to ensure continuous availability of skilled talent in the company, L&T has built eight Construction Skills Training Institutes (CSTI). They are at Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Panvel and Cuttack, respectively. In addition, L&T is also carrying out refresher courses and training at sites in yards through mock ups, etc. for specific tasks. With acquiring the basic skills, improvising on those skills is also very crucial.