The rapidly industrialising Sriperumbudur-Irungattukkottai stretch near Chennai will soon become the node for a novel skill development initiative floated by the Confederation of Indian Industry – Southern Region.

The SDI would foster industry relevant skills in unemployed youth and school dropouts to enable them to seek employment in the industries along the belt.

A government-funded institution would soon be coming up on this stretch, with active partnership from the private sector, NGOs and corporate trainers. If the Sriperumbudur experiment succeeds, the model will be replicated elsewhere in the State and the country.

“We have already held several interactions with senior government officials and they have received the proposal with great enthusiasm. We will try and address the issue of skill shortage among entry-level workers to tide over the shortage in quality and quantity of manpower industry is facing,” said B. Santhanam, immediate past chairman, Tamil Nadu State council and managing director, Saint-Gobain Glass India Ltd.The project would cost Rs. 500 crore to 550 crore annually and would be met from the government’s Skill Development Fund.

“The project would enable youth to help them develop industry relevant skills. The CII would play the facilitator’s role, providing certification to the youth trained here.

A smart card will also be provided. Industries would also invest in training and vetting the curriculum,” T.T. Ashok, chairman, Corporate Social Responsibility Sub-Committee, CII-SR, said. The CII would also help the youth in finding relevant jobs.

The Sriperumbudur-Irungattukkottai stretch was chosen as many global companies such as Hyundai and Saint-Gobain Glass were operating there, with electronics major Nokia and Motorola to follow soon.

Two types of training would be provided over a period of two months for youth in rural and semi-rural areas: general training and industry-specific training. The action plan would include forming working groups, training clusters, develop skill-assessment criteria specific to industry, partnering with an outsourced service providing agency and flexi-staffing.

“Providing a structured methodology in industry relevant training for unskilled workers has yielded amazing results in earlier experiments,” Mr. Santhanam said.

Training would be given in areas such as industrial sewing machine operation, basic electronic/mobile assemblies, foundry and casting, air-conditioning, glass handling, motor vehicle repair, beautician and hairdressing, food processing, retail and salesmanship and construction activities. “We will meet stakeholders before firming up the action plan”, he said.