AMH SSC striving to bridge the skill gap in the apparel industry

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CSR used to be a voluntary subject till the Companies Act was changed in 2013. Post amendment of this Act, the subject has now become mandatory for companies with specific turnover and profit.


However, Apparel, Made-Ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMH SSC) started making different strategies when the National Skill Policy 2015 was announced, as the said Policy issued advisory to Corporates to spend at least 25% of 2% of the amount earmarked for CSR activities on Skilling sector. It further advised the Corporates to spend the CSR spent on Skilling either through National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) or through respective Sector Skill Councils. Since the announcement of this advisory in the National Skill Policy 2015, it is reaching out to Corporates and PSUs to spend their CSR spent through AMH SSC.


“I think the corporate sector is a bit confused today as to which are the projects which technically come under the ambit of CSR and which are the credible agencies through which the CSR projects can be implemented. The subject of CSR was voluntary till recently but now onwards it’s mandatory and all in the corporate sector and in PSUs are cautious while handling this subject,” reiterates Dr. Roopak Vasishtha, CEO & DG – AMHSSC.


“The need of the hour today is that the CSR spent must be spent in such a way that the amount is spent on real social causes and also lawfully,” continues Dr Roopak. “Spending through Sector Skill Councils, I feel, are the best way to spend CSR funds, as the process is supervised by credible organization and the ambitious project of the Govt of India, namely ‘Skill India’ also would get a boost.”


AMH SSC has been launched jointly by the Ministry of Textiles, National Skill Development Corporation and the Apparel Export Promotion Council with the primary mandate of enhancing and to build a capacity in skill development. It now works under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Govt of India and NSDC.


One of the salient features of the AMH SSC is designing of training programmes, based on industry demands of different segments and to ensure that all successful trainees are certified through accredited agency. AMH SSC has been authorized by NSDC for evolving assessing proficiencies of skills of trainees for the Apparel, Made-ups and Home furnishing sectors for their respective subject areas.


“AMH SSC, which was started in Dec, 2013 is now fully grown up and has developed 45 Qualification Packs for the Apparel, Made-Ups and Home Furnishing sector. 3000 Training Partners and 30 Assessing agencies are affiliated to us. We also have 50 Master trainers, which include NIFT, as well. AMH SSC has assessed and certified 1.52 lac persons in both fresh trainings, as well as under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) schemes. In the current financial year we are handling appx 3 lac trainings under the fresh, as well as the RPL segments,” cites Dr Roopak.


In a nutshell, AMH SSC has a huge infrastructure to cater to the demand of the Apparel industry for skilled manpower.


“We are now constantly being approached by PSUs and Corporates and many other Central and State owned Corporations for handling the training and assessment of their respective schemes. Way forward, we feel that with the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, namely PMKVY, respective schemes of State Missions and Corporations and with the active participation of Corporates and PSUs through their CSR programmes, we shall easily be able to complete 2 million trainings and certification of Indian youth so that equal number of skilled manpower is available for the Apparel industry by 2022,” says Dr Roopak.


Skilling for a sustainable society…


There is a silent skilling revolution currently underway in the country, whereby, the Govt of India has initiated various kinds of Skilling trainings under all sectors so that while on the one hand the unemployed youth gets employment, on the other hand the industry gets skilled manpower. The best part is that all these trainings are being conducted absolutely free of cost to the end user. The Govt is spending thousands of crores under ‘Skill India’ initiative which will revolutionize availability of skilled manpower for our industry.


All trainings under AMH SSC are being imparted absolutely free of cost. Various Corporations like National Backward Classes and Financial Development Corporation (NBCFDC) closely works with AMH SSC and provides training and employment or Loans to members of Backward communities.


In an initiative, which had never been taken earlier in the country, AMH SSC, along with NBCFDC trained and certified 40 girls from Nomadic Tribes in Gurgaon in Hand Embroidery course and provided them opportunities to work with a leading Export House in Gurgaon.


“This is the differentiating factor with the Sector Skill Councils. They have developed standards in each sector, based on what the industry demands today. All the skilling protocols, Study contents, Study material and other teaching aids have been developed after constant brain storming sessions with the industry. Accordingly, the candidates who receive training on the Skilling protocols set by SSCs find it very easy to adapt to the industrial environment immediately on joining organisations, as the teaching aids used to train them are absolutely in synch with the what the industry today uses,” explains Dr Roopak.


Success story of AMH SSC

In Feb, 2017 AMH SSC had participated in a Skill Exhibition in Kanpur which was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister. In each stall, the CEO of the concerned Sector Skill Council was supposed to be at the front, supported by two trainees of respective sectors. The trainees were supposed to showcase the latest technology being used in Skill trainings in that sector.


AMH SSC had requested one of its Training Partners at Lucknow to send two trainees who had just passed out to be present at the stall. They sent two female students who had just passed out of the Sewing Machine Operators’ course from their centre at Lucknow.


After the Hon’ble PM left, Dr Roopak asked both of them whether they had got any job after passing out of the institute from where they had been trained under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). To this both smiled for a while and proudly informed that after the course, both had opened Boutiques at Lucknow and that each of them had employed around 5-6 employees in their respective units.

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