The interaction between the industry and the training institutions still needs improvement
Industry-relevant skill training on the rise in India
Kunwer Sachdev, the managing director of Su-Kam, an Indian company which manufactures solar technology, talks to The National about the challenges when it comes to finding skilled employees in India for the renewables industry.
Is India trying to skill workers for the renewable energy sector?
The government of India has launched the Skill India mission which aims to train over 400 million people in India in different skills by 2022. Various schemes have been launched to further the aim of skill development. The objective is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. India’s economy is a growing economy and renewable energy is going to be a big contributor to it.
To what extent are these schemes successful?
The intent of our prime minister Narendra Modi and the government is very good behind all these initiatives, but the bureaucratic setup of the government hinders the interaction between the industry and the skilling institutions. Due to this there is a huge gap in the available and the required skill pool. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, employment opportunities in India’s renewable energy sector will almost double by 2022. The report also noted that renewable energy employment continues to shift towards Asian countries.
How could this be improved?
In my opinion, the coursework should be industry focused and the percentage practical trainings should be more than just theoretical work.
How to you manage the situation of this lack of human resources?
As an organisation, we skill and train our people regularly. I must say that we have worked in skilling many people that are part of the existing solar industry. Training needs to be continuous and upgraded from time to time as we keep hiring new talent that requires frequent training, since there is a dearth of talented manpower.
What are the other challenges you face in the solar industry?
The training costs are high, since the attrition rate for skilled people is high - because the demand is much more than the existing number of skilled workers. Companies do not have enough trained manpower that understands the needs of the customer and the technology of the sector, and this may lead to providing solutions that may not be the right ones.
What is the potential of the renewable energy sector in India?
India has huge potential for the renewable energy sector. We are working hard on developing solar products and technologies suitable, viable and workable for conditions that are uniquely Indian or for all developing and under developed countries. We need to understand that Europe has made huge progress in the field but their products are not suitable for our country due to various reasons like storage solutions, power voltage and frequency fluctuations this range is very wide and different in rural and urban conditions, power availability.