April 2016

Turning People into Professionals

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A deep understanding of culture, region and its people, along with knowledge of the contemporary employment market, can help groom better employable workforce. And, that is what Kalvakuntla Kavitha, Member of Parliament, is doing through her ‘Telangana Jagruthi’ initiative. Sudheer Goutham of Elets News Network (ENN) interacts with her to learn more about the initiative and its achievements
Kalvakuntla Kavitha

Kalvakuntla Kavitha
Member of Parliament and founding president,
Telangana Jagruthi

Kalvakuntla Kavitha is the daughter of the charismatic leader and first Chief Minister of the youngest State of India – Telangana, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao. She rose up to become the ‘Cultural Face’ of Telangana during the ‘Telangana statehood movement’ by highlight- ing the cause of culture. But, the lesser known fact is that she is a social worker at heart, who started working for the education of poor children and employment of womenfolk, much before the statehood movement intensified since 2009.

Telangana Jagruthi, a non-governmental organisation that is turning into an international platform and a launch pad for employment of the local people, was founded by Kavitha in 2007-2008 with an initial thought to create employment for women. Apart from playing a crucial role in Telangana cultural renaissance, Jagruthi also seeks to address important issues, such as women’s empowerment, upskilling youth and healthcare.

“Initially, when I started Jagruthi, the idea was to provide employment to womenfolk by training them in self-employment skills and add value to whatever they were doing by enhancing their skills,” said Kavitha.

KALVAKUNTLA KAVITHA
MP and President, Telangana Jagruthii

Kalvakuntla KavithaJagruthi is a multipurpose platform that imparts skills to Telugu people and ensures that they land in a safe and secure place to work. This will be further expedited by the Government channels like Telangana Overseas Manpower Company Limited (TOMCOM) through registered agencies
Teething problem

It was not a runaway success as the Telangana Jagruthi chose the textile field for women’s employment. “We didn’t meet with any significant success initially, though the organisation put in hard work, and we were unable to connect with the appropriate market,” she says. But, as the efforts were initiated in other sectors, employments through Jagruthi started to happen.

Leave alone employment of non-technical or non-graduate individuals, even the technical and professional degree holders, like Engineer- ing, Pharmacy, etc., were not assured of a job due to lack of quality technical education. So, over 400 engineering colleges were closed down.

“In the process, I realised that there is a huge gap between employment and availability of skilled people, and something needs to be done. As the Telangana movement intensified in 2009, we couldn’t practically do much work towards training people and getting them employment. However, after the formation of Telangana, we felt that this is the right time when we can move in a focused manner.”

Spreading the wings

Following this, Telangana Jagruthi, which was confined to just a few districts, made its presence across 10 districts of the State and established skill centres in 17 parliamentary constituencies.

Well-researched efforts went into establishing each of these centres that fulfil and meet the requirements of local industry and employers, at the same time adding value to the practices and skills of individuals, who want to get employed abroad.

“All these centres run specific courses suiting the needs of the locals, besides general courses, like apparel, retail, etc., which are related to tailoring and retails industry opportunities. The specific courses include construction trade, telecom and electronics,” said Prashanth Veludandi, CEO, Skills, Telangana Jagruthi.

Market-aligned skills

For instance, a local of Nalgonda district, which houses most of the limestone deposits and cement industries, will be trained under the ‘Construction Trade’ course helping him get instant employment with reasonable remuneration. Similarly, those in Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Adilabad district, where people have the practice to migrate to Gulf countries for employment and support families back home, are being trained accordingly.

These skill centres are being integrated with modern information technology to keep track of each trained individuals, who completes 15-30 days of training depending on the sector.

Telangana Jagruthi is turning into an international platform and a launch pad for employment of the local people with an initial thought to create employment for women. Jagruthi also seeks to address important issues, such as women’s empowerment, upskilling youth and healthcare

Jagruthi is empanelled with the Sector Skill Council of India and is likely to soon get affiliation from the National Skill Development Corporation under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

Those who complete the training will be provided with the ‘skill card’ that will be recognised globally assuring employers that the individuals are trained and skilled. These skill cards are data- enabled with magnetic strip that gives information of training on online platform. Jagruthi has enrolled in more than 30 of sector skills.

The founding president of Telangana Jagruti says, “Our aim is to target niche as well as the global market for employment of our people.”

Strategic approach For this, Jagruthi has taken up a two-pronged approach – first working with the State Government that helps track the companies that expand or enter the State in search of manpower, and second, tying up with industry bodies, like CII, FICCI and others, who can directly get trained individuals.

“We will have tie-ups with corporate, like Oracle, SAP and Microsoft, who will give their syllabi to us, and their teams head for training. Due to this, even an engineering graduate, who completes 15-30 days’ training, will walk out as a SAP-trained engineer and job-ready professional,” observes Kavitha. Not just this, Telangana Jagruti is also in talk with the UAE Government to tie up and train a large number of Telugu people, who are working in the foreign land for a low pay and therefore, compromising on living conditions.

“Many people from Nizamabad and Karimnagar districts go to the Gulf to work as construction workers, electricians, plumbers and drivers. If they are trained and certified, they will be paid well and can make some savings back home. The Indian Embassy is quite supportive in this work. There are about 2-2.5 lakh Telugu people working in the UAE, out of which 2 lakh are from Hyderabad alone,” she says. So, Jagruthi is going to establish a training centre in Dubai for training them at least for 10 days with the consent of their employers. Also, a huge job expo happening is going to take place in Dubai, called Expo 2020. The demand is for at least 3.5 lakh people, so this is the right time,” she says.

Jagruthi has taken up a two-pronged approach – first working with the Government that helps track the companies that expand or enter the State in search of manpower, and second, tying up with industry bodies, who can directly get trained individuals

PRASHANTH VELUDANDI
CEO – Skills, Telangana Jagruthi

PRASHANTH VELUDANDIOur skill centres run specific courses suiting the needs of the locals, besides general courses, like apparel, retail, etc., which are related to tailoring and retails industry opportunities. The specific courses include construction trade, telecom and electronics
Future plan

Currently, Telangana Jagruthi, which claims to have trained about 8,500 individuals and ensuring employment for about 4,000 of them in different sectors, aims to train and employ over 50,000 by 2017-end and over 5 lakh people by 2020.

“It took time to find 150 trainers and experts for our centres and preparing the syllabus. We should be fully on track by 2017. It’s a must for us to tap the right kind of people, as we are the first generation into skill development arena. There will be biometric systems integrated with each centre that will help us track each trainee.”

Unskilled youth being

Unskilled youth being trained at a Telangana Jagruthi skill centre

With Greater Hyderabad being the Pharma hub of the country with huge demand for pharmacists, Telangana Jagruthi is setting up three pharma labs for training individuals, including one in Hyderabad. This will fetch high-end jobs to the trained individuals, said Kavitha.

“Meanwhile, Jagruthi is also in talks with retail chain companies like Big Bazaar, corporate saloons and hospitality industry companies, like Café Coffee Day and others, for mid-level employment of trained individuals,” said Veludandi.

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