Cyient’s Skill Centres: Raising a Skilled and Competent Workforce

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Krishna Deevi

Developing one’s skills is regarded as a crucial component of job generation. Lack of sufficient education and training limits people’s prospects for self-advancement by preventing them from accessing well-paying employment. It eventually stops them from having a significant impact on economic progress. Appropriate education and training are, therefore, essential for dismantling the ecosystem of poverty. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), jobs in India are diminishing as the unemployment rate crept to nearly 7.8 per cent in June 2020. This rate is significantly greater than anything observed in the nation during the previous three decades. While unemployment rates increased in most countries in 2020, the rate in India was higher than that of the majority of emerging economies, including Bangladesh (5.3 per cent), Mexico (4.7 per cent), and Vietnam (2.3 per cent).

With one of the highest unemployment rates and widespread poverty in Asia, India needs to take a long, hard look at what unemployment looks like, where it exists to combat it, and the poverty that results. A skilled workforce is crucial for the success of recently launched national missions like Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities, etc. To highlight the importance of skill development, the Government of India set up the Ministry for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in 2014 to coordinate with other Ministries and Departments to achieve the goals of the Skill India Mission which aim to skill 40 crores by the end of 2022.


Employers seek employees with technical and non-technical skills so that necessary jobs are completed effectively and efficiently inside their organisation. It became apparent in recent years that students graduating from their academic programmes lack the requisite skills to meet industry expectations.
While many acknowledge skilling young unemployed students in the 18-25 age group, very few will discuss the need to reskill/skill the large proportion of unemployed Indians between the ages of 24 and 60. Individuals, organisations, and governments need to focus on skilling this age group, and vocational skilling courses can be very beneficial here. 

A person’s aptitude, competency, proficiency, and talent to complete a specific job or task is known as their skill. It might be either naturally possessed or slowly developed over time. It may be non-technical skills that signify one’s traits and attributes or technical skills honed with education/training and experience. 

A person may possess non-technical skills even though they have no direct relation to their specific job role. These abilities, often known as soft skills, are more closely related to character traits and routines than technical proficiency. Non-technical abilities may increase productivity and help create a productive workplace.

Technical skills are specialised knowledge and proficiency needed to carry out particular activities and use specific tools and programmes in practical settings. Almost every sector and industry, from IT and business administration to healthcare and education, need a wide range of technical abilities.

Employers seek employees with technical and non-technical skills so that necessary jobs are completed effectively and efficiently inside their organisation. It became apparent in recent years that students graduating from their academic programmes lack the requisite skills to meet industry expectations. 

While many acknowledge skilling young unemployed students in the 18-25 age group, very few will discuss the need to reskill/skill the large proportion of unemployed Indians between the ages of 24 and 60. Individuals, organisations, and governments need to focus on skilling this age group, and vocational skilling courses can be very beneficial here. 

Skills development is urgently needed to close the skills gap and make the potential workforce industry-ready. Technology innovations and disruptions significantly impact the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the workplace. The workforce must be continuously updated, upskilled, and upgraded to keep up with the rate of change, otherwise, they will quickly become obscure, obsolete, and ultimately excluded from their workplace or rejected when seeking new employment prospects. This effort to stop extinction and elimination stems from the focus on skill development to get the workforce ready for the future.

According to the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), skills are classified into four levels based on the degree and duration of the training required.

Level 1 – Semi-skilled: Refers to skills acquired through short-term courses, focused interventions, and on-the-job training.

Level 2 – Skilled: Refers to skills specific to the occupation and acquired through technical or vocational training.

Level 3 – Highly skilled: Refers to skills involved in highly technical or commercial level operations and acquired through degrees, diplomas, and post-graduate education.

Level 4 – Highly skilled with specialisation: Refers to the skills with high specialisation involving research and design acquired through a doctorate or many years of work experience in a specific sector or area.

We established the Cyient Urban Micro Skill Centre and Cyient IT/ITES Skill Centres in and around Hyderabad and the Ranga Reddy District of Telangana. All courses offered by CUMSC and IT/ITES Skill Centres are free. One of the main criteria for selecting beneficiaries is the local preference for the low-income community earning less than Rs 75K per annum.

Sensing the need to contribute to the skilled workforce and provide livelihoods to millions in the country, we at Cyient constituted Cyient Foundation in 2002 to empower citizens and communities through our focused CSR initiatives. Each initiative is carefully chosen based on the likelihood that these interventions would have a long-lasting and sustainable impact. From education to skilling and health to social innovation and community development, the impact tends to have a multiplier effect across several integrated touchpoints.  

To leverage synergies, optimise resources, and deliver impact, our community initiatives are rooted in the philosophy of Empowering Tomorrow Together. 

With this backdrop and gauging the objective of achieving long-term, holistic development of communities, we established the Cyient Urban Micro Skill Centre and Cyient IT/ITES Skill Centres in and around Hyderabad and the Ranga Reddy District of Telangana. 

All courses offered by CUMSC and IT/ITES Skill Centres are free. One of the main criteria for selecting beneficiaries is the local preference for the low-income community earning less than Rs 75K per annum.

Cyient Urban Micro Skill Centre (CUMSC)

This is our flagship initiative developed in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. The Telangana Government allocated land in one of the largest urban slums of Serilingampally Mandal, Telangana. The Foundation built a state-of-the-art skill centre in line with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) guidelines. 

CUMSC is an innovative and direct response to poverty alleviation and focuses on building livelihood opportunities aligned with community needs and built upon community strengths. 

With a total built-up area of 5396 sq ft., Cyient Urban Micro Skill Centre (CUMSC) focus more on vocational skills like Tailoring, Bakery & Confectionery, Beauty & Wellness, Retailing & Food Processing, and Bedside Care Assistants. These courses will help the non-IT literates to attain jobs in manufacturing, retailing, hospitality and healthcare.

We currently offer training on five major vocational skills – Tailoring, Bakery & Confectionery, Beauty & Wellness, Retailing & Food Processing, and Bedside Care Assistants.

Another important feature at CUMSC is the Digital Literacy Centre where we provide IT literacy to non-IT literates in the community. It is accessible to school children and their parents. We follow the L1 and L2 Training Modules for Adult Literacy to make Digital India. We use the following course from NDLM.

L1 – This module’s duration is 40 hours. This basic level of IT Literacy Training includes how to use the computer, basic operating system, Basic MS Office Tools, computer education about devices, and also how to use other digital devices like smartphones and applications.

L2 – The duration of this course is 60 hours. In addition to the basic level IT Literacy programme, we train the trainees on how to effectively use eGovernance, operate internet search engines, use Google, internet browsing and understand the various government schemes. emailing skills like sending, receiving and reading the emails received.

We also have a CRÈCHE to support underprivileged women during their work hours by taking care of their children.

CUMSC has pioneered a collective action model for bringing about a large-scale social transformation across the Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy District. It enables the Government, corporates, non-profits, and citizens to come together for the common purpose of social development.

Our Cyient community mobilisation team reaches out to the urban slums of Serilingampally Mandal and slums in other parts of Hyderabad to bring them on board for various skilling programmes. The Centre is crucial in providing participants with the tools they need to become self-employed or find long-term skilled employment. We also help trainees who have completed the training to get placed in relevant organisations through our industry connections.

Community members aged between 16 and 60 years wishing to acquire these skills can also access these programmes. Our Foundation also encourages school children and their parents to enrol in the training.

Cyient IT/ITES Skill Development Centre

We established this Centre in association with Swarna Bharat Trust – Hyderabad Chapter in 2017. The objective is to enable a platform between academia and industry to enhance the employability quotient of youths in Telangana. 

The Skill Centre initiated action to address the underutilisation of the talent pool produced by Telangana. We target unemployed Mechanical/Electrical/Computers (excluding Civil) students and non-engineering degree graduates in Science, Maths, and Computers from various colleges.

Along with Swarna Bharat Trust – Hyderabad Chapter, we identify beneficiaries from various unemployed diploma holders and non-engineering graduate colleges in Narayankhed, Sangareddy, Mahaboob Nagar, Warangal, Nalgonda, and Medak Districts of Telangana.

Every three months, we provide 50 (25 boys and 25 girls) unemployed diploma holders and graduates per batch with high-quality training programmes to equip them with IT/ITES industry-relevant skills.

The three-month intensive classroom training features topics like:

  1. Personal Impact Skills
    • English Speaking, Soft Skills, Personality Development and Interviews Preparation
  2. Organisation Impact Skills
    • Ethical Behaviour, Conflict Resolution & Collaboration, Team Building and Team Management
  3. Technical Skills
    • Computer literacy and in-depth understanding of operating systems
    • MS Office and Date Entry Operator training
    • GIS Tools and Mapping Technics
    • Auto CAD and Design Tools
    • Presentation Skills
Our company has a background in designing systems and solving complex problems. Through Cyient Foundation, we bring in several experiences and deploy technology-based solutions to ensure the existing skill development ecosystem is more effective. We also have two qualified full-time training faculty to train the candidates, an assessment officer, and one community mobiliser.

It is important to note here that all these courses at the Digital Literacy Centre and IT/ITES Skill Centre are primarily taught in the classroom with computers. The GIS Tools/Mapping Techniques/Auto CAD Course which is taught at the IT/ITES Skill Centre is the software used for design engineering to design maps, etc. It is a unique course which is specifically industry-relevant.

Our company has a background in designing systems and solving complex problems. Through Cyient Foundation, we bring in several experiences and deploy technology-based solutions to ensure the existing skill development ecosystem is more effective. 

We provide free food and accommodation to all the candidates pursuing training in the IT/ITES Skill Centre. We also have two qualified full-time training faculty to train the candidates, an assessment officer, and one community mobiliser.

In all fairness, conducting these programmes is not a walk in the park. Some of the key challenges are: 

  • Lack of proper infrastructure facilities for skill training
  • Mobilisation – Mobilising individuals to enrol for the courses is challenging
  • Scalability – The progress of the initiatives is slow
  • Skills mismatch between the industry and educational institutions
  • Lack of focus on non-technical skills

Both the Cyient Centres adopt the following scientific methods in addressing the challenges:

  • Decentralised and locally-driven skill development initiatives 
  • Creating awareness and mobilisation
  • Creating capacities/infrastructure 
  • Integration, mobility, and transition 
  • Greater industry linkage

Below are the various steps we follow to build rapport with the communities and families: 

Step 1: With support from the implementation partner and community head, our staff reaches out to all the individuals living in the urban slums and requests them to attend a counselling session.

Step 2: During the counselling session, the Counsellor talks to the family head, assess their income source and explains the importance of having sustainable income and dignity of labour.

Step 3: Enrol the candidates on courses based on their interests.

With support from our partners, we surveyed the urban slums and learned the following facts/information:

  • Over 75 per cent of urban slum women (girls) in the age group 14 to 45 are working as domestic maids around the community, in nearby apartments and in small companies. The rest (25 per cent) are homemakers struggling for income sources.
  • 45 per cent of men/women work in small shops or establishments as cleaners/sweepers, etc.
  • 17 per cent of men/women have low-paying jobs 
  • 12 per cent of men/women work in nearby companies as sanitation/cleaning staff through agencies with less pay.

Impact of Cyient Urban Micro Skill Centre (CUMSC)

We have helped increase the monthly earnings of BPL communities to at least Rs 5000 and developed environmentally-friendly communities by reducing plastic usage and promoting cloth and paper bags. Our CUMSC women stitched 36,580 cloth and paper bags and developed products for sale at the District Collector Office, Ranga Reddy, Telangana. 

Since it functioned in the first week of March 2019, we have trained over 2500 unemployed urban women and youth on five skill modules. Over 2150 unemployed women/youth have gained access to sustainable living.  

Sl. No
Course
FY20-21
(3 Batches)
FY21-22
 (3 Batches)
Total
1
Tailoring
74
75
72
74
78
76
449
2
Retailing & Food Processing
63
61
66
64
65
61
380
3
Beauty & Wellness
59
63
60
58
55
53
348
4
Bakery & Confectionary
56
57
55
53
52
51
324
5
Bedside Care
48
45
47
302
305
259
1006
 
Total
300
301
300
551
555
500
2507

Eighty-six per cent of the total trainees gained potential employment and are self-sustained.

Sl. No
Skill Training/ Module
No.  of Trainees
Percentage (Women)
Employed
Percentage (Employment)
Avg. Monthly Income (INR)
Course Name
   
1
Tailoring
449
100%
386
86%
11,500/-
2
Retailing
380
82%
304
80%
9,500/-
3
Beauty
348
100%
267
76%
10,200/-
4
Bakery
324
86%
265
81%
8,800/-
5
Bedside Care
1006
100%
945
94%
10,500/-


Impact of Cyient IT/ITES Skill Centre

We have trained 556 unemployed youths in and around Telangana in 17 batches and 449 of them have job placements. 

We have trained over 46 per cent of girls/women and provided them employment. 

Ninety-five per cent of the trained and certified candidates are employed in various IT/ITES companies, including Cyient. 

We have helped our trainees gain sustainable income of over Rs 2.5 Lakhs per annum.

We are deeply encouraged and revitalised to keep giving our best to young people needing a helping hand. It also warms our hearts when we witness how they succeed in life thanks to our programmes. 

Here are a few examples of what success and hope look like:

A Tailored Story 
CH Samarajyam

38-year-old CH Samarajyam was a domestic helper for more than 15 years. Her salary and her husband’s meagre income as an auto driver were insufficient to support the family, preventing them from providing their daughters with a good education. Samarajyam enrolled at the Cyient Skill Centre Tailoring Programme through her community. She was welcomed and warmly received by the Centre Coordinator. She felt at home on campus. After completing a three-month training programme, Samarajyam found a job at an alteration desk at a textile shopping mall, earning Rs 12,000/- per month. She could now support her family and provide good education to her daughters.

 

Determination Pays
Chikali Anitha

Chikali Anitha, 22, was singlehandedly raised by her mother as she lost her father when she was a child. Her mother worked as a housemaid in three households to support herself and her daughter. Despite this, they did not have enough to support themselves. Anitha even had to forgo her studies due to financial hardships. She did not give up on herself and her future. She decided to help her mother financially by searching for a source of livelihood. She enrolled at the Cyient Urban Micro Skill Centre (CUMSC) and joined the Beauty & Wellness Training Programme. She was deeply encouraged as she received full support from the Foundation and the CUMSC faculty. After completing the course, Anitha began working as a freelance beautician. She now earns a good income to support herself and her mother.


We at Cyient Foundation will continue to run the programmes to empower unemployed youth, women and men to gain a sustainable living, promote the dignity of labour, and make them self-reliant. We will replicate this successful model across other mandals and districts of Telangana and locations where we have our operations and facilities in India.

Earning Bread for His Family
Shashi Kiran

Shashi Kiran’s father is an auto driver, and his mother is a homemaker. He has a younger brother and sister. The family struggles financially due to their father’s meagre income. He had completed his Class XII but could not continue further. With his commitment to improving the family’s income and providing better education to his siblings, Shashi joined the Cyient Urban Micro Skill Centre’s (CUMSC) Bakery and Confectionery Course. He worked extremely hard and learned many technical skills related to baking. He is now a chef in a bakery earning a good salary, enabling him to support his brother and sister in their studies. 

 

Job and Financial Stability
Syed Sara Tabassum

Twenty-three-year-old Syed Sara Tabassum’s father is an auto driver. Her mother is a homemaker. Tabassum was unable to find a job despite completing her education. She longed to be financially independent. She came to know about the free courses offered at the Cyient IT/ITES Centre. She joined the 16th Batch at Swarna Bharathi Trust. She learnt AutoCAD, GIS, and Soft Skills. Tabassum’s dream came true when she completed the course. She is now working for a reputed company, is financially independent and supports her family.


We at Cyient Foundation will continue to run the programmes to empower unemployed youth, women and men to gain a sustainable living, promote the dignity of labour, and make them self-reliant. We will replicate this successful model across other mandals and districts of Telangana and locations where we have our operations and facilities in India.

Krishna Deevi is a Senior Director of CSR Programmes, Cyient Limited.