Sajit T C, head of human resources and administration, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) speaks about the initiatives, plans and projects undertaken, as part of India’s skill development mission.
Can you share with us the initiatives taken by BIAL to skill its manpower for its operations?
BIAL collaborates with multiple industry bodies as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the skills of staff. We are a part of the industry collaboration for skill development, with representation in the Aerospace and Aviation Sector Skill Council (AASSC) and have contributed to the creation of jobs and Qualification Pack – National Occupation Standard (QPNOS) for job roles. In addition, we work with respective sector councils for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) training for job roles that are not specific to the aviation sector.
Do you provide in house training to your employees on a continuous basis, to keep them abreast with new developments?
Currently, we do not have a training academy at BIAL. We, however, equip our teams with training that enables them to manage real situations on the ground more efficiently and with empathy. We rolled out Project Utsaha in 2016, which is a capability building programme designed to be delivered over a duration of two-years in collaboration with a leading training service provider. Project Utsaha brings all people in customer-facing roles under a capability building programme involving training, coaching and auditing. The initiative aims at creating common customer service culture at Kempegowda International Airport – Bengaluru, to provide a seamless and delightful experience for customers. We also focus on enabling our staff in passengerfacing roles – across departments – with knowledge and skills to handle sensitive situations and people who need special attention. In the recent past, we conducted training programmes related to empathetically managing passengers with reduced mobility and managing passengers with hearing impairment, for the subsection of BIAL employees in passenger-facing roles, employees of airlines and ground handlers in customer-facing roles, as well as Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel.
What are the key focus areas for skill enhancement in 2017-2018?
In addition to skill development related to regulatory, technical and functional requirements, the key focus areas for skill enhancement for 2017-18 are customer centricity, collaboration, creativity and innovation. Our training programmes will address the needs of our employees in these areas. We also look forward to working with the AASSC on RPL training for airport-sector job roles.
What according to you are the challenges prevailing in skilling people in the aviation sector?
Aviation sector skills are very specific to the complex job roles that exist in this industry, hence any skilling initiative for people working or wanting to work in this industry needs to ensure that sector-specific skill requirements are addressed. Many of the skills can be developed on the job with focused training programmes over multiple years.
How do you see the future of the industry in terms of skilling the workforce?
There is significant awareness about the importance of skill development being created by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and AASSC with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). Standardisation of job roles and skill requirements, recognition of prior learning, and focused training programmes by accredited industry bodies and private training providers will give the necessary thrust for skilling the future workforce.