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Construction : Web Exclusive | September 2016 | Source : CW-India

Skill Development for Young Engineers to Reform the Core Sector: Vision 2025

September 15 is celebrated every year in the country as “Engineers’ Day” to commemorate the birthday of the legendary engineer Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. Sir Visvesvaraya, an eminent Indian engineer and statesman was born in a remote village of Karnataka, incidentally now the hi-tech state of the country. Due to his outstanding contribution to society, the Government of India conferred this legend with the “Bharat Ratna” in 1955. He was also called the precursor of economic planning in India. His learned discourse on economic planning in India – Planned Economy for India and Reconstructing India – was the first available document on the planning effort of the country and it is still held as the parent source matter for economic planners. A theme of national importance is chosen every year by the National Council of the Institution and deliberated at its various state and local centres to educate the engineering fraternity in general and the society in particular. This year, the National Council of the Institution has selected the theme as “Skill Development for Young Engineers to reform the Core Sector: Vision 2025”.

There is immense pressure in restructuring global economy by means of global flow of goods, services and know how, when some industries decline as well as new avenue of opportunities is created. This force, in turn, creates the demand for re-skilling of those redundant workforce as well as skill-upgradation and training, and development to promote new skills for those newly employed in new industries. Governments across states have taken some initiatives to address the major challenge of scaling-up disparate skill development initiatives of different departments. Within a short span of less than ten years, a lot of skilled manpower is needed to be developed, which is required by the market driven approach. The requirement of skilled manpower in all the major sectors of the country is not only a matter of national urgency, but is also increasing in scale. However, the Government of India has set a target to impart the necessary skills to 500 million people by 2022.

The five sectors that are identified with the expectation to create majority of employment are infrastructure, auto, building and construction, textiles and transportation.

Now, like other employment sectors, shortage of required skills is one of the major constraints for the pass-out engineering cadre for to continue the growth of the Indian economy. Different employer surveys have addressed this knowledge gap and emphasised upon analysis and development of the classified skills for improved productivity.

In sectors such as manufacturing, IT, infrastructure, power, engineers play a crucial role. In different real life situations, there arises unmet demand of skilled manpower. Different national and international bodies have carried out survey and analysis on this growing aspect of the engineering fraternity and expressed concerns about the skills and knowledge at all levels of workforce. As per the analysis of employer’s   feedback, specific skills can be categorised as core employability skills, communication skills and professional skills, and thus, a policy recommendation should be drafted as follows:
1. Addressing the prime skill factors through assessments, teaching, curriculum, real  life case study.
2. Emphasise soft skills development.
3.  Exercise skills in simulated environment.
4.  Customise courses to meet different customer demand.
Source: The Institution of Engineers ( India)

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