Furniture & Fittings Skill Council (FFSC) has announced a new Governing Council at its seventh Annual General Meeting held in New Delhi. Narsi Kularia of Narsi & Associates takes over as chairman, and Rajesh Mittal of Greenply Industries is co-chairman. The Governing Council has a term of two years. Kularia takes over from outgoing chairman Anil K Goel of Hettich. With a new team in place, FFSC is going aggressive on Mission 2025.
Speaking on the occasion of the AGM and Furniture Skills Global Conclave (FSGC) Culmination Ceremony, Kularia reminded all stakeholders of the talent and innovative capability of Indian woodworkers. “Let us not forget that iconic world-class projects such as the new Parliament, Central Vista and Pragati Maidan convention centre are being built by Indian carpenters and woodworkers. Their creations are at par with any other in the world. It, therefore, behoves us to get them the best skilling infrastructure and opportunities, if we have to achieve the objective of becoming the skill capital of the world as envisioned by PM Narendra Modi.”
Anil Mathur of Godrej Interio and Anil Goel were the founding chairman and co-chairman of FFSC, and instrumental in defining its vision and goals. Both leaders were acknowledged for their lifetime contribution to the skill development cause.
FFSC’s culmination ceremony marked the completion of its year-long Furniture Skills Global Conclave, which was launched in September 2021. The objective of the conclave was to build awareness about skill-based opportunities in interiors, furniture and allied industries. The larger goal of FSGC was to lay a strong foundation for Mission 2025, wherein FFSC has committed to skill, reskill and upskill 5,00,000 aspirants for various job opportunities.
FFSC chief operating officer Rahul Mehta informed that 23 regional skill chapters would be established for extending reach and industry engagement across India. “Through the regional skill chapters, we aim to connect the industry, learners and skilling partners, and create an effective and sustainable infrastructure for providing skilled manpower. During the past 12 months, we have operationalised chapters at Kochi and Udaipur. FFSC is going aggressive on Mission 2025.”
Mehta also informed that FFSC had organised over 50 events during the past year for engaging industry, academia, skill beneficiaries and other stakeholders of the skilling ecosystem. “Through a chain of seminars, webinars, workshops, industry meets, exhibitions and skill competitions, FFSC has engaged more than 10,000 persons, motivated over 300 industry partners to join the mission, and created 5,000-plus job opportunities.”
National Skill Development Corporation vice president Mahender Singh Payaal, a special invitee to the event, complimented FFSC for its efforts in building a robust skilling ecosystem within a short span since its inception in 2015. He also highlighted the unique features of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 (PMKVY) and invited industry to benefit from the scheme.
PMKVY 4.0 is a revitalised mission for skilling nearly 1.50 crore workers in various trades during 2022-26. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has allocated a budget of Rs 6,000 crore for this edition of its flagship scheme, which is being implemented by NSDC.
In a shift from its previous grant-based avatar, PMKVY 4.0 puts the learner at centre stage, by ascertaining the aptitude of each candidate before determining the skill journey he should be advised to take. Also, the program has the flexibility to incorporate training curriculum that industry may have developed for its specific needs, instead of prescribing what is considered suitable. On-the-job training is an essential ingredient of this program.
Payaal exhorted FFSC members to come forward with proposals that were outcome-based, enabled the utilisation of existing infrastructure in public and industry domains, and made skilling a rewarding business proposition for training partners.
“We are looking forward to your innovative ideas. I can assure you that funds will not be a constraint and the turnaround time will be very short,” Payaal said, indicating that PMKVY 4.0 is a responsive program that aims at closing the skill demand-supply gap with a realistic and result-oriented approach.
Revealing how FFSC is going aggressive on Mission 2025, Mehta listed the initiatives being taken by the council. These include the launch of T:AJ, a job portal for woodworking and carpentry skill beneficiaries; and the signing of MOUs with industry partners for providing job opportunities to the skilled workforce and setting up skilling academies.
FFSC T:AJ provides candidates with training, apprenticeships and jobs by enabling them to create their profiles including existing skills, levels and experience. On the other hand, it enables employers to set up their profiles and post openings for predefined job roles. Over 150 employers are already onboard, offering more than 2,000 apprenticeships and job opportunities. Some 340 candidates have registered on the portal and uploaded their profiles.
An MOU was signed with Instalco WIFY under which the latter has committed to providing job opportunities to 1,200 trained installers over the next two years. MOUs were also announced with Narsi Group (beginner and apprenticeship academy), Caple (NSTI centre of excellence), HOMAG Group (NSTI centre of excellence), and NürnbergMesse India (engagement partner).
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The finalists of Indiaskills 2021 in the trades of carpentry, joinery and woodworking were facilitated for their accomplishments and perseverance. These finalists will represent India at the Worldskills Competitions 2022 special edition, which is being held in various countries following cancellation of the event in Shanghai, China. The cabinetry, carpentry and joinery skill competitions are scheduled for October 11-14 at Basel, Switzerland.
FFSC also recognised the contributions of several industry organisations, stalwarts and professionals for their unwavering support and contribution towards the fulfilment of Mission 2025. Some of the notable mentions were Pidilite CSR, Hyfurn, Decora Group, Interwood, Ozone Overseas, Visvesvarya Foundation, Karjee Technical Education, ALMTTI, Neki Corporation, Canadian Wood, I.EVO, Srishti Manipal, Gopal Dwivedi (author), and Banwari Rayat (YouTuber).