In order to help units get skilled workers, the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (Kassia) has taken up an initiative to develop skills on a massive scale under a scheme of the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).In collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Kassia is taking up a year-long skill development programme, for which it has been sanctioned Rs 1 crore by NSDC. During the programme, at least 20,000 workers will be trained.
M C Dinesh, president of Kassia, said that the ministry has agreed to give full support to this cause. The association is planning to conduct skill development workshops in four different places in Karnataka to help local units over the next one year.SMEs are gaining confidence and it is visionary planning that will help them learn how to manage the crisis,” said Dinesh.
Karnataka’s SMEs, which have been facing an acute shortage of skilled workers for the past few years (when engineering graduates were attracted towards the booming IT and ITeS sector), are busily mobilising workers. Over 100,000 workers from the state’s SME sector had lost their jobs over the past year.Around 80 industries are facing a shortage of skilled workers. The shortage is being keenly felt in auto components, aero components, textiles, fabric finishing and foundry units.The other problem area is the availability of middle-level persons for the managerial cadre with orientation in soft skills. Once the skilled labour force is included, the growth momentum of the SME sector will gain further momentum, Dinesh said.
Along with the skill development exercise, Kassia will also conduct a Lean Management Programme for small industries as part of a capacity building and competency enhancement exercise for them. This proposal has been well received by the ministry of MSME.There are 160 MSME clusters in Karnataka. Out of 625,000 units in the state, around 300,000 units are in the organised sector. Some 30 per cent of the units have shut or worked 15 days in a month, 30 per cent were normal, and 40 per cent showed slender profits in 2008-09.