How is the scarcity of skilled operators affecting the prospects of the construction equipment market?
The current skill gap and its impact on the Indian labour force has strengthened the resolve of construction equipment companies to find solutions to ensure the health of business, and the overall economy in the coming years. The industry has already started witnessing various collaborations between equipment manufacturers, academia and the government to help develop skilled workers. Operating heavy machinery as they are used in construction industry requires high precision and expertise. Skilling of operators ensures this in addition to ensuring their safety.
The Infrastructure Equipment
Skill Council (IESC) has also been working relentlessly to create a skilled generation that would not just turn employable but could also become innovative job creators and entrepreneurs in future. Such initiatives will help generate productive workforce for the industry, thus enabling them to contribute towards making India a $5 trillion economy.
JCB has been in India for four decades, now. Being one of the leading players in the industry and also a part of IESC, JCB takes conscious efforts to bridge the existing skill gap and contribute towards formalising the industry.
How are skill development initiatives progressing in the country for equipment operators? What is the support from the government in operator training/skill development?
Today, various construction equipment manufacturing companies are identifying "skill gap" as a concern for the industry. Our industry has the IESC as its sector skill council which looks after the critical needs of the industry.
JCB India is also a part of it. We feel that focus on skilling would eventually result in a higher employment in India and therefore, would play a significant role in contributing to the country's GDP and overall development.
It is heartening to see some more key industry players aligning themselves with the vision of IESC and thus, stepping up and introducing various initiatives aimed at significantly bridging this gap.
In the latest Budget 2020-21, our Finance Minister also highlighted government's support towards bridging the skill gap in the infrastructure industry through National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). NSDC, by readying a skilled workforce in the infrastructure and construction industry, would hence boost employment in India.
How are the operator-training initiatives progressing at the company? What are the latest technologies used in the operator training programme?
JCB India builds a strong brand recognition and aspirational value to JCB operators through a comprehensive range of its products. We have pioneered the operator training programmes and through 15 centres have already trained close to 30,000 operators, thereby creating employment and entrepreneurship amongst youth. JCB India, through its four regional training centres, also skills over 6,000 dealer service professionals who work in JCB dealerships. It provides a one month certified course on machine operations and maintenance, which includes both, classroom and practical training on how to operate JCB machines safely and productively. This will be noteworthy and is sure to make a sustainable contribution to the drastically growing infrastructure sector.
What are your future plans for operator training activities?
Operators from across the country have contributed in JCB's journey in India. Hence, we strive to be fully supportive to them in every way possible. Going forward, we are keen to increase the number of our operator training centres to create more and more employment and entrepreneurship amongst youth. Gradually, we would also like to introduce simulators, which can eventually fast track the entire training process.