“India has 25 lakh painters and polishers, who are uncertified as they have not received any formal training. We hope to ensure that we certify one lakh of them by 2019, and four lakh per year in subsequent years.”
By Mrinmoy Bhattacharjee
The domestic paint market grew 11.8% year-on-year in value terms, to touch a volume of Rs 55,800 crore in FY2018. It is further expected to achieve 12.5% CAGR till the financial year 2020, as estimated by the Indian Paint Association (IPA). But this growth is happening despite a severe deficit in the availability of skilled manpower.
In fact, the near-absence of training avenues leaves aspirant painters with the only choice of learning the craft from their seniors who are themselves under-skilled, or semi-skilled at best, and certainly not certified. The consequent lack of skilled and certified painters in the market results in low consumer satisfaction. Besides, the paint and coating industry is stuck with the perennial shortage of skilled manpower on other fronts – manufacturing, sales, and distribution.
To address this multidimensional problem, the Paints and Coatings Skill Council (PCSC) was incorporated in October 2015 under Section 8 of The Companies Act 2013 as a not-for-profit body. The Council is backed by industry bodies such as IPA, Indian Small Scale Paint Association (ISSPA), and Indian Paints and Coatings Association (IPCA).
“We want to ensure sustained growth of the domestic paints and coatings industry. PCSC is working closely with the industry to identify the skill requirements and close the gap for creating a better value for consumers,” says PCSC’s CEO V S Ram. “India has 25 lakh painters and polishers, who are uncertified as they have not received any formal training. We hope to ensure that we certify one lakh of them by 2019, and four lakh per year in subsequent years,” he adds. This is in light of the incremental human resource requirement and training need that stands at nine lakh from 2017 to 2022 in the paints and coatings sector, as per the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
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PCSC has developed the National Occupational Standards for skills, and also designed the course material and list of training resources needed for quality training. “We are a new council; we have invested time to develop job roles, and have been leveraging the best practices of international paint companies operating in the country to bring high-quality training for painters and others. Those paint manufacturers who have been running their own courses have now affiliated themselves with the Council and aligned their courses with ours to bring about standardisation in the industry.” The Council, according to NSDC, has designed 11 model curriculums and has also developed a book. On infrastructure, the Council has tied up with paint manufacturers and Chennai-based Skill Training Institute.
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Talking about the generation of employment opportunities for certified manpower, Ram says that the Council is banking on the dealer network to place trained painters. It will also begin organising contractor meets to be able to explore job opportunities for them. This process, he indicates, is a pilot of sorts as the Council may fine-tune it on the basis of outcomes. “We have also tied up with various companies to open up job opportunities for certified manpower, besides participating in Rozgar Melas where employers and job seekers meet for exploring, applying, and interviewing for jobs.”