Quality Workforce essential for growth: FICCI

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Mumbai, Oct 28 (UNI) India Inc faces one of its major challenges in sustaining its economic growth due to lack of qualified and quality workforce--trained and skilled--to man and operate the vast array of machines and equipment.

Habil Khorakiwala, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), cites outdated syllabus and lack in quality of education as reasons for the shortfall.

''A radical change and liberalization is the need of the hour.

While China has 1,500 universities, we have only 364,'' he says.

According to a study conducted by FICCI, there is a 25-40 percent shortfall in qualified workforce across 35 industries.

Maharashtra alone requires 15,000 skilled workers every year but has an attrition rate of 35 percent.

''This lack of quality workforce was certain to make our industries under-perform and uncompetitive in the global market. But to churn out quality workforce, the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and other technical and vocational training institutions will have to be spruced up. Better faculty and technology, syllabus and proper placement facilities will all have to be in place'', he said.

Both the (FICCI) and Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) have proposed public-private participation (PPP) in bringing the ITIs and other training institutes up to the required mark.

'' PPP has to be experimented with. Both the Central and state governments have taken some steps as employment is a concurrent subject, and the private industry cannot be expected to do it alone'', says Khorakiwala.

''I will urge the industry to sponsor various projects and courses and give more financial and academic autonomy to the ITIs,'' agrees Maharashtra's Minister for Energy, Dilip Walse Patil.

He said his government was open to partnership with the industry.

The Government at the Central and state levels have indeed taken steps to rectify the situation, which include interest free loans upto Rs 2.5 crore as seed money, MOUs' between stakeholders, improving the quality of education for employability and industry partner for each ITI.

UNI

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