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SkillEE aims to bridge technical skills and knowledge gap for aspiring engineers

Libza Mannan
28th Oct 2017
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The platform wants to become a one-stop guide for engineering students in Tier III and IV cities. Offering easy-to-understand video tutorials, the platform not only trains students but also provides them job assistance. 

The National Employability Report by employability assessment firm Aspiring Minds says 95 percent of Indian engineers can’t code. The survey also reveals that employability for roles such as mechanical design engineer and civil engineer stands at a meagre 5.55 percent and 6.48 percent respectively. The lowest employability percentage is for the chemical design engineer role at 1.64 percent. Employability in the domain-specific roles is the highest for electronics engineers at 7.07 percent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream project of 'Make in India' aims to increase manufacturing capacity in India and generate 100 million jobs by 2022. However, the ambitious project currently faces the dearth of employable graduates, especially the kind of engineers our colleges churn out in smaller cities.

And Nagpur-based skill development platform SkillEE is on a mission to transform the scenario.

SkillEE Trainings has signed MOUs with two engineering colleges in Nagpur to arrange guest lectures and train students for campus interviews. It has a few more efforts on cards.

Launched in 2016, SkillEE Trainings is the brainchild of Bhavana Chittawar (47) and Kunal Gadre (30). Bhavana, who is an engineer, has over 20 years of experience in teaching and training engineering students and freshers. She has also developed knowledge-based softwares for training industry engineers in energy efficiency and computer-based training modules for Indian Railways Institute for Electrical Engineering, Nashik. Kunal has over 12 years of experience in consulting various SMEs, commercial establishments, and large industries, among others.

Kunal Gadre (left) and Bhavana Chittawar

Bhavana is the co-founder of another company in the field of energy efficiency, where they often recruited engineering graduates and diploma holders from local engineering colleges of Nagpur.

“During interviews, I used to note that most of these students come from low-income families. As you judge their knowledge level, it was found to be very low. They could not answer even simple things that an engineer should know. As a result, most of them were getting rejected. Same was the opinion of many of the SME owners in the region. That’s when I felt the need of building a platform like SkillEE Trainings to help local engineering students here,” reveals Bhavana.

Later, Bhavana roped in Nilesh Behare to help the company in recruiting fresh engineers, and Shruti Ralegaonkar for content creation.

How does it aim to upskill aspiring engineers?

 Currently, the platform is conducting offline lectures and classes for aspiring engineers and students only to have average aptitude to get registered with the platform in Nagpur. It focuses on repetition and practice so that the concepts become clearer for students. Using real-life applications, do-it-yourself projects and numerical applications to be solved the platform ensures that the candidate gets enough course content to make him/her thorough for actual field applications. To make learning interactive and fun, it provides voice-based presentations and also has an ‘open-for-all’ discussion-cum-query forum to seek answers to any concept, method or question. On completion of the SkillEE Trainings course, students are awarded certificate accredited by industry experts.

The registered students would also get access to three online courses of the platform.

“At present, we are concentrating on user base in and around Nagpur. Since it will be an app-based platform, we can create a user base all over India. Thus, it will increase turnover multiple times,” adds Bhavana.

Adopting a holistic approach, the platform also offers recruitment, internship interviews for industries, orientation programmes, organises guest lecture from industry experts, provides job assistance and imparts training in core engineering sectors to boost skills of engineering graduates.

The platform’s web platform and Android app is expected to launch next month and would provide audiovisual content in twelve engineering courses. The online platforms will monitor the progress of the student through the results of online tests conducted and provide a personal counsellor to guide and handhold the student till he/she is employed, aiming to bridge the gap between institute and SME industry.

Disruption in the education space

As per an education survey by HSBC, education will be the ultimate goal of 51 percent of Indian for their children. Today, startups in the educational space are trying to transform traditional methods of teaching and learning by using new and innovative methodologies for students.

Bhavana at one of the SkillEE lecture workshops

And the edtech space is crowded with startups like Simplilearn, Embibe, BYJU’s, Meritnation, Qriyo among others are aiming to disrupt the education space by providing better coaching in specific subjects while some others are handholding students in qualifying various entrance tests.

SkillEE Trainings not only trains but handholds students till they get a job. SkillEE trainings will shortlist students and send the list to prospective employers as per their requirement and notify students about that. All these will be done using special algorithm.

“Keeping in mind that this generation has grown up watching cartoons, instead of providing a boring lecture in a classroom or virtual classroom, we have prepared course material which starts with a story and all concepts are explained using animations, graphics and actual video shoots,” adds Bhavana.

Plans for future

The brand has availed loan from Stand-Up India scheme to meet capital expenditure. In first year, SkillEE Trainings aims at covering modules related to electrical and mechanical engineering that are relevant to industries. Going ahead, the brand plans to cover other fields like automobile, chemical, environmental & power engineering branches will be covered in the next three years.

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