The FFSC roadmap aims to firmly establish an ecosystem that will nurture skill development and accelerate the process of vocational education within the Indian furniture and fittings industry
I am happy to provide details of the initiatives being taken by Furniture & Fittings Skill Council, for ensuring that a sustainable pipeline of skilled cadre is available to the Indian industry in the coming years.
New Training Standards
FFSC has created new ‘qualification packs’ which are high in demand or will address the anticipated skill gaps of sub-sectors of the industry. Modular furniture, architectural fittings, interior design, and bamboo and cane furniture are some sub-sectors for whom job roles have been approved for training. The focus will shift from the wooden furniture sub-sector, as job roles for the other sub-sectors have been approved and will be initiated for training and certification.
Expansion of Training Infrastructure
The new Skill India portal will be fully operational in the first week of June 2019 and will start accrediting training centres. FFSC will focus on creating more training centres for new job roles across various sub-sectors, to increase the overall annual training capacity. Industry partners will be encouraged to set up ‘iconic skill centres’ which will offer advanced training courses and create benchmarks in training standards.
Master and Field Trainers/Assessors
The skilling ecosystem is entirely dependent on the quality of available and certified trainers and assessors. FFSC will focus on generating certified field trainers and master trainers through Training of the Trainer (ToT) sessions. Further, assessment bodies will be strengthened through certification of the assessor under Training of Assessor (ToA) sessions. In sectors where trainers for key job roles are hard to come by, the industry is being invited to partner FFSC in ToT/ToA sessions by providing their master trainers and supervisors to conduct domain sessions.
FFSC has initiated special projects in collaboration with organisations under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE). These are projects that target beneficiaries, such as beggar communities in Bihar and West Bengal, by imparting skill training along with residential facilities. Based on the results of the pilot, FFSC will expand the bandwidth of such training programmes across other states.
RPL Type 4
The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Type 4 focuses on certifying the existing workforce, which is deployed in industry, either in direct or indirect modes of employment. The value of certification is the key in this project. Once the existing workforce is certified, it is expected that new entrants in the sector will be eager to attain the coveted certificate and be better employed. The certification also ensures that the industry absorbs, which is certified under the ‘Skill India’ initiative, thereby increasing the value of certification.
Apprenticeship is a key initiative which provides an opportunity for the candidates who have attended NSQF Levels 3 and 4 training, to join the industry as an apprentice and get on the job training. FFSC is working with the industry in developing new curriculums for an apprenticeship, which will enable candidates from short-term training (STT) courses to enrol as apprentices. A new apprenticeship portal, established for the benefit of industry, universities and candidates, makes the process from enrolment to contract generation much simpler.
World Skills 2019 – Kazan, Russia
FFSC is participating in the Skill Trades of Cabinet Making and Joinery category at the World Skills competition which will be held in Kazan during August 2019. The selection process – through the district, state, regional and national levels – has helped short-list the most competent candidates to represent India at the Olympics for skills. We hope to put up an excellent performance at World Skills competition, and preparations are underway with the support of industry partners.
The author is the CEO of Furniture & Fittings Skill Council.