There is a huge gap of skilled operators available and required in the market. How is Godrej & Boyce reacting to this scenario?
In recent years, the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have recognised the need to train more operators. In an attempt to bridge the gap in skill sets, Godrej & Boyce began offering vocational training in October 2012 as part of "Good & Green". "Good & Green" the Godrej Group's CSR initiative - aspires to create a more employable Indian workforce by training one million rural and urban youth in different skills across various sectors, that will enhance their income earning potential. Godrej Material Handling has set up its own in-house training centre and training modules to train operators.
How are skill development initiatives progressing in the country for equipment operators?
We registered with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the Skill Council in the Logistics sector and were the first Indian OEM to receive accreditation as a training partner with the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) to impart MHE operating skills. We began with three training centres in Bhubaneswar, Pune and Chennai, which provide free training to youngsters. The syllabus focuses both on theory and the practical aspects of handling equipment and trainees also receive support for job placements.
Over 500 operators have received training in the past five years and more than 60 per cent of these have been employed by corporates and rental companies even in the Middle East. These trained operators have been earning between Rs 10,000-15,000 per month, which is a huge differential over an untrained workforce. The training centres have also helped boost the local economy and have created employment opportunities for youth in the surrounding areas.
What is the support from government in operator training/skill development?
The current government understands the importance of skilling in different sectors. During Budget 2020, the government has announced that the National Skill Development Council will be providing special thrust to infrastructure-focused skill development opportunities and proposed Rs 30 billion for skill development in various sectors.
How is the operator training initiatives progressing at the company, especially in forklift operations?
Given the rise in demand for material handling equipment operators, Godrej developed a Forklift Driver Training programme and has been providing training since the last three decades. To promote gender diversity in the forklift operation segment, three years ago Godrej Material Handling ventured into an area which traditionally has been reserved for male operators and started training women to become forklift drivers. All the participants are trained in a mock-up warehouse, where they learn to maneuver the machine, and stack and de-stack pallet loads onto racks.
What are the latest technologies used in the operator training programme?
The training programme developed by Godrej comprises both acquainting the trainee operator through class-room training and hands-on training.
While the operator is trained to operate the forklift safely through classroom training, he undergoes several hours of hands-on training on the equipment correlating classroom instructions in a practical manner.
The operator learns to operate the MHE in different environments such as a warehouse, rough surface, simulating stuffing/de-stuffing containers, maneuvering the MHE through obstacles etc.
Godrej has plans to invest in a simulator wherein the operator will train on a simulated platform before graduating to an actual forklift. This will help him bridge the gap between the classroom instructions and the practical operation of the forklift.