There is a huge gap between existing human resources and industries’ skill set requirements. The Skill Development Institute (SDI) works consistently towards bridging this gap in Visakhapatnam.
Conceptualised under the Government of India’s Skill India Mission, the SDI is a non-profit philanthropic initiative of the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), and seven other Public Sector Undertakings. With an aim to empower the unemployed and underprivileged youth with necessary skills, six mega Skill Development Institutes were strategically established across the country. These institutes provide free short-term skill training programmes (30-180 days), along with boarding facilities, to the trainees.
Present in the city since October 20, 2016, the SDI Visakhapatnam, today has eight units, directly under it, in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram Districts and two extension centres at Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam Central Prisons. “When the Skill Development Institute was inaugurated at Arilova, Visakhapatnam, our target was to initially train 600-800 candidates every year, as per the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) curriculum and standards. Exceeding our expectations, 9,500 candidates received their training, during the last thirty-six months”, shares the SDI’s elated Principal CV Narasimha Das.
A typical day at SDI Visakhapatnam
Set up in a sprawling three-acre picturesque campus, the institute offers twenty-seven technical/vocational courses including Automotive Service Technician, Mine Electrician, Customer Care Executive, Draughtsman-Mechanical, and Retail Outlet Supervisor among others. Depending on the eligibility and vacancies, students will be given hands-on training, with the respective state of the art machinery, at the SDI Visakhapatnam. Any Indian resident, between 18 and 27 years with 10th/12th/ITI/Diploma/graduation (degree) qualification can enroll for the courses throughout the year.
At the SDI Visakhapatnam, a typical day begins at 5 AM. Students practice yoga from 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM. Post breakfast, they assemble for morning prayer. Jam-packed with classes from 9 AM to 5:30 PM, the trainees are often taken on field trips to industries, in order to receive practical exposure. “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”. Underlining the importance of innovation, the SDI Visakhapatnam had taken up a few measures in this direction. “Besides typical classroom and laboratory sessions, we encourage our trainees to bring out their creativity. In line with this idea, we introduced a ‘Work and Play’ session, wherein the students work on cost-effective models in their respective domains, with available resources”, Mr. Das shares.
Every trainee at the institute is given special attention. Based on their performance in the weekly tests, special classes will be conducted for those who need improvement. Additionally, soft skills and language proficiency sessions are held to boost their confidence. Upon candidates’ successful completion of training, the Skill Development Institute Visakhapatnam facilitates placements in relevant job roles in India and abroad, provided the trainees meet the selection criteria and tests specified by the prospective employer. Over 75 reputed firms including the Aditya Birla Retail Limited, Aurobindo Pharma Limited, Big Basket, Divis Laboratories Limited, Flipkart, and others have provided employment opportunities to trainees from the SDI Visakhapatnam.
Challenges and Success
The SDI Visakhapatnam won the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) India Excellence Award for its contribution towards the community impact, in October 2019. While this award stands as a testament for the SDI’s success, Mr. Das says that this wouldn’t have been possible without the collective team efforts. “During the initial months, some of the candidates would join courses for mere merriment. The real challenge was to divert their attention from quality food to quality training and better placements. Slowly, yet surely, we were able to motivate students by organizing interactive sessions, with experts in various fields”, he adds.
Undoubtedly, the Skill Development Institute Visakhapatnam had changed many lives, while guiding the students, especially the rural youth from the Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, and West Godavari Districts. Kamal Sai, an alumnus of the institute shares, ”I hail from Podugupalem, a remote village in Visakhapatnam District. My father is a rod bender and mother, a daily labourer. After ITI, I was under severe pressure to get a job. I joined the Industrial Welding course at the SDI Visakhapatnam. Soon after the course completion, I was placed at M/S Kirby Building System, Hyderabad. Now, I work for a Dubai-based company. A few months into the new job, I was able to clear our debts. The SDI Visakhapatnam has brought a beacon of light not just in my life but also in my old parents’ lives”.
With a ground-breaking record of 75% placement rate in the last three years, the institute looks forward to improving the employability of the country’s youth and bring about socio-economic change through skill development. As the Principal of the institute since its inception, Mr. Das feels that connecting with more than five thousand young lads and girls, every year, coming from various emotional backgrounds, is a real journey with learning, in every moment. “Witnessing even a tiny little smile on the faces of their parents gives a life-time satisfaction and the greatest sense of fulfillment to me”, he concludes. As the team of the SDI Visakhapatnam plans to extend exclusive training courses for Degree, and Engineering pass-outs, we wish them all the very best.