Apprenticeship training will make the difference: SY. Siddiqui
As a growing nation, India has ample population of youngsters and given the presence of technical education in the country, quantity is not an issue, but on the contrary quality of talent that is joining the workforce is a concern. The knowledge and skill level acquired by a candidate while undergoing technical education like ITI and Diploma Engineering, does not match with the skills and capability required by the industry and there is clear a gap. The reasons are the outdated course curriculum, lack of workshop practical training with new tools and machinery, lack of professional instructors, lack of modern infrastructure and low exposure and connect to the actual industrial environment. Similar gaps, though to a lesser extent, are there in case of Graduate Engineers too.
At Maruti Suzuki level specific comprehensive training modules have been specially designed to enhance the functional capability of employees and at the same time help them to adapt Maruti Suzuki values and culture. There is defined entry level for each category of employees. For shop floor technician level employees, the basic qualification required is ITI in different industrial trades. Preference is given to candidates who have undergone post ITI Apprenticeship training in a manufacturing company. Similarly for supervisor level the basic qualification required is three year Diploma Engineering.
The skill set required is different for each level based upon the nature and area of operations. In case of the technician level, a person is required to have technical knowhow with basic capability of machine and tools operations. They should also have the ability to grasp new skills, adapt to work in the industrial environment and should have a positive mindset. Whereas, in case of the supervisor level, other than having strong technical knowledge, they should possess the requisite capability of a frontline leader i.e. effective communication, people handling and high commitment.
We believe in sourcing as essential to building the right talent pool. The key channels of sourcing candidates for entry level of technician trainees is through different routes, such as recruiting firms, government employment exchanges and internal pool of apprentices as well as outsourced manpower trained at MSIL. As far as Diploma Engineers are concerned, we hire them from premium polytechnics and diploma engineering institutes through campus recruitment drives. Experienced supervisors are also recruited through recruitment firms and the MSIL Employee Referral Scheme. We do give preference to people who have either completed apprentice training in MSIL and for graduate engineers, we prefer students who have undergone their vocational at MSIL as a part of their summer or winter projects.
At Maruti we do not look at the cost of training as expense, rather it has been viewed as investment for building talent pool for future organizational requirements to face the challenges of the competitive business environment. Company provides 1 year intense training to a technician trainee, which includes induction training conducted by HR. Thereafter, these youngsters undergo basic technical training in the shop floor, on-the-job training and off–the-job training including classroom training. This comprehensive training program caters to skill enhancement and learning the operating processes. They also learn key processes related to 3G, Kaizen, MOS, safety measures, use of PPE material, etc. Similarly for Diploma Engineers, 1 year extensive training module is used, where after the initial induction training all trainees undergo 6 months stint with the production division to learn the operational processes. Subsequently they learn technical skills in the respective functional area based on the business needs. The focus during the training is laid on imparting technical skills, operations, systems, processes, etc. The last 6 months of the training are focused on developing frontline leadership capability among these young engineers.
There are well defined parameters in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the training. Training effectiveness is monitored though feedback forms, pre and post training evaluations, and informal group feedbacks. Evaluation is done both during offline and OJT phases. Apart from these measures, regular assessment by the superiors is carried out through structured and professional processes. Regular feedback and counseling sessions are conducted by superiors to provide opportunity to improve and demonstrate better performance and delivery.