People working in the automotive sector have reasons to rejoice, as the state’s first skill development centre for the industry was inaugurated in Patna on Friday.
The centre comes under the Automotive Skills Development Council. It has been opened in association with Dharmendra-Smriti Education Services Pvt. Ltd, a sister concern of Alankar Auto Sales and Services Pvt. Ltd, Patna.
On the sidelines of the inauguration, the council’s chief executive officer, Sunil K. Chaturvedi, said: “According to estimates, there was a shortage of around 15 lakh commercial drivers last year. The council’s mandate is to fill gaps in the industry by imparting workers, including the unskilled ones, the necessary training through tailored skill development programmes.”
The council is funded by the National Skills Development Corporation and the ministry of heavy industry.
S.M. Raju, secretary, state SC and ST welfare department, who was present at the inauguration, assured the government’s support to the programme.
“We will give Rs 500 as honorarium or stipend a month to every student enrolled in the skill development programme,” Raju said.
Narendra Kumar, director (plan), Alankar Auto Sales and Services Pvt. Ltd, said plans are afoot to set up six more skill centres under the council in Bihar over the next couple of months.
“To start with, we will organise courses in automotive industry trades such as motor mechanics, auto sales executives and telecallers. The training programmes will be for a minimum of 30 days and the fees would be around Rs 6,000,” he said.
Unskilled workers in the sector welcomed the centre. “It is true that such skill development programmes would enable us to earn more but poor workers such as two-wheeler mechanics might not be able to afford the course fees. The organisers should either lower the training frees or make it free for a few,” said Munna Kumar, a two-wheeler mechanic at Kurji.