Mumbai (February 1, 2017): With an endeavour towards creating a more holistic understanding of skill training in India, the Godrej Industries’ recently held the second edition of its annual Good Conclave. The conclave provided an overview of the entire skilling value chain and addressed the complexities of marginalised communities that companies operate in. It also witnessed the release of a research report prepared by Samhita Ventures on the CSR efforts of top Indian companies in skill development. The report was the culmination of efforts between the Godrej Industries group, Samhita, UNDP and other corporates.
Inaugurated by Nadir Godrej, Managing Director, Godrej Industries Limited, the event witnessed an engaging series of panel discussions on diverse views from corporate, government, non-profits, academia and social enterprises. The panel of industry stalwarts such as Clement Chauvet, Chief, Skill and Business Development, UNDP, Pearl Tiwari, President, Ambuja Cement Foundation, and Ajit Chaudhuri, General Manager – Community Services, Tata Sustainability Group, deliberated on the gaps and opportunities in the skill training eco-system such as during pre-training mobilisation and post placement support for migrants.
Dr. Vikas Goswami, Head Sustainability – Good and Green, Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies, said, “The last decade has seen increasing interest and investment in the vocational skills space by government, corporates and civil society. However, gaps remain partly because there is too much focus on training and not enough on post training hand holding. This report will assist all stakeholders to understand current corporate CSR initiatives and take informed decisions towards future programmes and improving effectiveness.”
She further added, “At Godrej, we aspire to create a more employable Indian workforce and aim to train one million youth in skills that will enhance their earning potential. We work in collaboration with the government, NGOs and social enterprises to design and run a number of employability training programmes in vocational skills that are relevant to our businesses. The focus of these programmes is to improve the earning potential of our graduates, through skill building and empowerment.”
The report prepared by Samhita Social Ventures highlights the CSR efforts of the top 100 companies with the largest CSR budgets on BSE 500 to identify gaps and opportunities in the skills and livelihood value chain. It further provides a roadmap for companies and other stakeholders to overcome these challenges by providing blueprints from existing NGOs. Additionally, data-based evidence of trends in skill training and the evident gaps (pre and post training) are provided in the report.
Priya Naik, Founder & CEO, Samhita Social Ventures further added, “Developing skills and livelihoods is a cause which, more than any other, is critical for companies to get involved in, since it is the corporate sector that shapes industry demand, sets trends and understands what skills the market needs. Companies have responded to the Skill India Mission with enthusiasm, investing a significant amount in the sector to train and qualify those who need skills. However, monitoring the quality of the training, placing trainees in appropriate jobs and retaining them, and imparting skills linked to market demands are key challenges that need to be addressed. In order to make a significant impact on the future of skilling in the country, we need to ensure that both private and public sector initiatives are geared towards building appropriate skills and creating a culture of continuous learning.”
The event concluded with a special performance by the Budhan Theatre group. The group has been founded by Dr. Ganesh Devy, a Padma Shri awardee for his work on the education and upliftment of denotified and nomadic tribes. It aims to bring about social change by raising awareness about the historical plight of denotified tribes, notably the Chhara community by utilising the talents of the Chharas as natural performers to conduct expressionist theater that emphasise their struggles and issues.