Tuesday, May 03, 2011

'Construction industry facing manpower crunch'

Construction and engineering services major L&T Ltd. has highlighted the acute shortage of skilled manpower required for the booming construction sector in the country, which is the second largest job providers after agriculture employing about 40 million people.

"The manpower shortage is there for all of us to see as we are finding it hard to recruit the right skilled people, though there is abundant talent in the market but does not match the requirements," Mr. V.B. Gadgil, Chief Executive, Construction Division of L&T, said recently.

New recruits
Based on the country's economic growth, about 58.28 million persons would be employed in the infrastructure sector by 2022. Out of the projected requirement, 80 per cent belong to workers' category and hardly 5 per cent of this are trained and certified. L&T is poised to recruit over 2,000 people during the year for the construction division, which is the largest arm within the company.

To address manpower shortage and bridge the demand supply gap, L&T trains about 6,000 people each year through a chain of seven L&T Construction Skills Training Institutes (CSTI) located in various parts of the country.

Vital role
Speaking to a group of journalists at one such institute located at Jadcherla about 90 km from Hyderabad, Mr. Gadgil said so far these training centres have played a vital role in grooming local people in skills that are in demand in the construction sector.

Mr S. Natarajan, Head of Training arm at L&T, said that these institutes pick up school dropouts and groom them to be skilled construction workers in various segments in the industry. Thus far, nearly 25,000 people have been trained in these institutes. In fact, those selected need not pay any money, they get training for three months and then get absorbed in the industry either by L&T or by other companies, or may even chose their own career path.

Those selected are provided with a stipend of about Rs. 2,000 a month, food and accommodation at the institute. "We are also knowledge partners for 21 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and the National Academy of Construction," Mr. Natarajan said.

"We are in the process of ramping up the capability to impart training to more people. For some select areas of construction, such as welding, we pick up ITI trained people and groom them for certain skills sets," he added.

Source: Business Line, May 3, 2011

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