Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC) has opened up a path that helps individual to get trained and certified in appropriate skills leading to employment opportunity in collaboration with industry. Over the last few years, RSDC has trained over 100,000 people in manufacturing and plantation job roles and more than 43% of the certified students have been placed/self-employed

Skilled population has emerged as a driver for economic growth and social development of any country. Demographically, India is a young nation with 65% percent of its youth in the working age group. According to the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, it is estimated that the average age of the population in India by 2020 will be 29 years as against 40 years in the US, 46 years in Europe and 47 years in Japan. It is necessary for India to provide its workforce with requisite skill sets and knowledge so as to enable them to contribute substantially to the economic growth of the county. Consequent to the need of the hour, the skill ecosystem in India has undergone major reforms with serious policy interventions in the last few years.
Rubber industry in India, with over 5,500 manufacturing units, is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Indian economy. However, the Rs. 850,000-million industry that makes significant contribution to the economy and supports over 4.5 million people is constantly short of skilled manpower that needs to be trained and equipped with requisite skills and training to meet the industry’s emerging requirements. In the absence of availability of adequate skilled manpower, the employers generally recruit freshers for the entry level jobs on the shop floor and then train them as per their requirement.

Working in mission mode

To address the Skill Gap in the vast Rubber Sector, Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC), a key Sector Skill Council, was set up by industry bodies, All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA) & Automotive Tyre Manufacturer’s Association (ATMA), in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in July 2012.
RSDC’s primary goal has been to ensure that the skill training is relevant to industry needs and it is aligned with the National Skill Development Policy. RSDC has been working in mission mode to create National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Qualification packs, undertake Skill Gap Analysis, conduct Train the Trainer Programs, and conduct skill gap studies and Assess & Certify trainees on the curriculum aligned to National Occupational Standards.
RSDC has already developed comprehensive National Occupational Standards for 69 job roles in the manufacturing sub-sector (for Tyre, Non-Tyre & Tyre Service segments) and 32 job roles for Natural Rubber sub-sector.
Skill Gap Analysis (SGA) is critical to adequately bridge the skilling gaps. So far Skill Gap Analysis has been conducted in 21 states and UTs with a view to assisting in planning and delivery of training, besides identifying skill development needs of the sector. Having successfully undertaken Skill Gap Analysis in manufacturing sub-sector, which has slowly witnessed a positive shift in the skill development graph of the rubber sector, RSDC is finalizing plans for SGA for the natural rubber plantation sub-sector with the help and support of the Rubber Board of India.
Over the last few years, RSDC has trained over 100,000 trainees in manufacturing and plantation job roles, and what is gratifying to note is that more than 43% of the certified students have been placed/self-employed.
Training of the trainers and assessors is immensely important so as to align them with the needs of the industry. RSDC has created a large team of trained trainers by conducting TOT for 550 trainers and 350 assessors across country.
The curriculum developed by RSDC focuses its 60% content on practical aspects and 40% on theory so that students are adept to the industry needs and are, therefore, readily deployable.

Imaginatively designed courses

Through the persistent efforts of RSDC, as many as 14 leading universities and engineering institutes in the country are running courses in Rubber Technology currently. Imaginatively designed courses have helped the universities introduce Rubber Technology programs, with RSDC acting as a facilitator. Bachelor of Vocation (B.Voc) and Dual Certification are two such programs designed to increase the availability of trained and specialized rubber technologists in the country.
A large number of institutes, including Vickram College of Engineering, Madurai, B.S. Abdur Rahman Crescent University, Chennai, Kamaraj College of Engineering and Technology, Chennai, Downtown University, Assam, ICFAI University, Tripura and Sharda University at Greater Noida (NCR region), have tied up with RSDC for dual certification. Under these tie-ups, students can get value-added program in the form of dual certification which is offered to Engineering students pursuing Polymer Technology, Chemical and Automobile Engineering.
Similarly, Bachelor of Vocation (B. Voc) in Rubber Technology is a 3-year program which has been made modular and provides flexibility to students, to exit at the end of each year. Students exiting at the end of 1styear are certified with Diploma, students exiting after 2nd year, become Advanced Diploma holder. On completion of the 3 year program, the students graduate as Bachelor in Vocational Education with specialization in Rubber Technology. The Bachelor in Vocational Studies (B.Voc) in Rubber Technology, which is approved by UGC of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MoHRD) is being conducted in Tripura University, Tripura, Hindustan University and Dr. M.G.R Educational and Research Institute, Chennai.
Tie-ups with a host of State governments have helped RSDC in reaching out to the rural areas for skill development initiatives. RSDC has collaborated with Additional Skills Acquisition Program (ASAP) of the Government of Kerala, Jharkhand Skill Development Mission Society (JSDMS), Punjab Skill Development Mission (PSDM), Tripura Skill Directorate Mission, The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) at Industries Commissionate, Government of Gujarat, Gujarat Skill Development Mission (GSDM), Assam Skill Development Mission (ASDM), Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) and Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation (TNSDC).

Exclusive job portal

An exclusive job portal catering to the Rubber sector has been developed by RSDC, the first of its kind amongst the Sector Skill Councils. The Industry is requested to make use of the job portal for hiring skilled manpower in the Rubber sector.
Taking the skills training beyond class rooms, RSDC has developed Curriculums and Content and also E-learning modules with 3D animation videos for classroom training. A Mobile App has been developed for all the stakeholders of the Skilling ecosystem.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), the Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme (RPL) provides a platform to give recognition to the informal learning or learning through work, an equal acceptance as a formal level of education.
Successful implementation of the RPL scheme by RSDC is turning out to be a game changer for the Rubber sector in India. Under this scheme, the industry members are benefited by getting their employees re-skilled by RSDC-certified trainers without incurring any expenses. After successful completion of this re-skilling program, the employee is awarded with a nationalized certificate, mark sheet and a payout. The re-skilling is also structured and aligned to the National Occupational Standards (NOS’s).
Very recently two major programs in RPL involving more than 30,000 candidates have been completed in Kerala (plantation) and Punjab (manufacturing) and Tamil Nadu (manufacturing).
Industries like Govind Rubber Limited, Metro Tyres and Relaxo Footwear are some such members who have trained and certified more than 10,000 employees. In a similar drive, the Rubber Board of India conducted RPL in the plantation sector for Tappers in Kerala. More than 10,000 tappers have already been trained and certified.

Not only in case of manufacturing, the inadequate availability of skilled workforce is leading to sub-optimal growth in the rubber plantation sector as well. As per a study conducted by the Rubber Board, 150,000 skilled tappers are required in latex harvesting whereas only 50% are available. The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Programs have helped to up-skill these tappers, upgrading their knowledge and skill in harvesting of the crop.
In the second phase of the skill development program under PMKVY in the rubber plantation sector, re-skilling of 22,000 persons under recognition of prior learning (RPL) program is being carried out in the States of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Assam. The major job roles selected in rubber plantations are Latex Harvesting Technician (Tapper), Processing Technician (Rubber Sheeting), General Worker (Rubber Plantation) and Rubber Nursery Worker (General).
RSDC understands that short term modular courses and certification are the need of the industry for front-line shop floor workers and supervisors. The training programs focus more on live-project and on-job training methodology; so the students are readily deployable as per the requirement of the industry. It is also very important to build capacity and affordability in the training infrastructure to encourage persons from less-educated and lower-income groups to opt for such courses and develop fruitful career in the rubber industry. Therefore, RSDC develops a path that helps individual to get trained and certified in appropriate skills leading to employment opportunity in collaboration with industry.