EIFE and ORMAS organise EU-India workshop on skill development in Odisha

Understanding the challenges of Indian skill ecosystem


January 15, 2020

/ By / Bhubaneswar, Odisha

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The ‘Promoting Vocational Education & Training’ workshop in Bhubaneswar

In an attempt to provide a boost to India’s skill development ecosystem, Europe India Foundation for Excellence (EIFE), a not-for-profit organisation based in Brussels, brought a European delegation to present the expertise and best practices from Europe. Experts from leading skilling institutions in France, Germany and Russia participated in the conference to discuss collaboration with Indian partners.

EIFE, which has been appointed as a European consultant with Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS), government of Odisha, recently brought a multi-country delegation from three European countries to promote cooperation and collaboration with ORMAS and its leading training partners. The visit was organised as part of an MOU that ORMAS has signed with EIFE.

The two organisations also jointly organised a workshop on ‘Promoting Vocational Education & Training’ in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha which focused on sectors like manufacturing, textile, construction, healthcare & hospitality.

The day-long event was attended by senior representatives of ORMAS, OSDA and government of Odisha. Deoranjan Kumar Singh, principal secretary, PR & DW department, government of Odisha; Subroto Bagchi, chairman, OSDA, Ranvir Nayar, founding director of EIFE; Sanjay Kumar Singh, commissioner-cum-secretary, Skill Development & Technical Education Department, government of Odisha, S R Pradhan, CEO of ORMAS and Badal Kumar Mohanty, OAS, joint CEO, OMAS addressed the conference. There were also presentations by ORMAS, Mathieu Rostaing, general secretary, La Fabrique School of Fashion and Interior Design Fashion, Jörg Kalmbach, head of professional training programmes, Carl Duisberg Centren, Yvick Robin, international director, Compagnons du Devoir and Alina Doskanova, deputy director-general international relations director, World Skill Russia where they introduced their organisations and the international projects in skill development conducted by them.

D K Singh, principal secretary, PR & DW Department, government of Odisha said, “I think that in the skill development sector you either go up or go down. You never remain static. Since ORMAS has won the award for the best Indian state over the past three years, I am wondering what’s next. I am searching for that extra bit in ORMAS now and I firmly believe that extra will come if we interact with a larger community of people. I would like to inform that we are already having a very fruitful collaboration with TIFF Australia which is giving the Training of Trainers and then that collaboration is likely to be further strengthened and enhanced. Our expectations are similarly high with this European delegation and our relationship with the EIFE.”

Four technical sessions were held in the second half of the day. The first session, ‘Challenges in retention of skilled man-power in Textile and Apparel Industry’ was chaired by Jyotiprakash Das, OAS, director of textiles & handloom, Odisha. A session titled ‘Career progression in Hospitality and Food Industry’ was chaired by Ranvir Nayar, while another session, ‘Prospects and future growth in Manufacturing & Construction sector’ was chaired by Rasmita Panda, CEO, OSDA and the last session called ‘Way forward- Future perspective’ was chaired by Mukti K Mishra, chairman, Centurion University.

The workshop saw vibrant and  very fruitful discussion between the European delegates, the government representatives as well as the leading training and industry partners of ORMAS. The discussions mainly centred around the requirements of training institutions and industry in sectors like advanced manufacturing, apparels and garments and construction which helped the European delegation in understanding the focus areas for skill development in India. On the following day, the EIFE delegation also visited training institutions like ASMACS Skill Development, Black Panther Skills Trainers, Centurion Skill University and Skill Development Institute in Bhubaneshwar with the objective to observe the training ecosystem and interact with the people there. The four major focus areas of discussions were the Training of Trainers (ToT), joint certification, assessment and creation of centres for excellence.

“It was one of the most productive visits as we experienced how the agencies are different on different levels like federal and state and have some kind of understanding at what kind of skill ecosystem India has. It was very important as we not only saw presentations but communicated with people, visit skill centres and see how education is imparted by the trainers, Indian has great potential as one of the important resources-people/manpower, and India has a great population. It is important for both the governments to invest in people and people’s skill, to promote best practices and best experience to get more from their people,” said Alina Doskanova of World Skills Russia, the body in charge of skill development in Russia and which reports directly to President Vladimir Putin.

In order to introduce the rich heritage of Odisha, ORMAS also organised a day-long sight-seeing tour for the European delegation, notably to attractions like Shanti Stupa in Dhauli and Konark Sun temple, besides a networking dinner on the same day.

“This workshop and event was very essential for us as we learnt a lot as we figured out what they actually need for training in India. It is hard to understand as India has got a qualification system designed for all different professions. During these discussions we understood that the training needs to be tailored according to the requirements of India. Tailor-made trainings from Europe need to have a closer look at the circumstances from where the participants come like social background, what equipment are used in the profession, the climatic conditions; so it really helped in understanding what European trainers need to come over and support the training measures. We were also able to visit the beautiful, cultural heritage of India which were really very astonishing, it opened our hearts for the culture. Also the people are so friendly and warm, this nation has got one of the greatest hospitality I have ever experienced,” said Sonja Hagedorn, project manager, Carl Duisberg Centren.

As a successful outcome of the event, World Skills Russia of the government of Russia will conduct the assessment of their trainers and training centres based on the focused sector. Also, based on this assessment, the various European institutes will conduct focused and time bound programmes for training the trainers of Odisha.

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