The Centre is toying with the idea of setting up a national institute to enhance skill in rubber and tyre sector. The proposed institute would be on the lines of Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET) for plastics and Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) for leather.
“Though rubber is a key sector of the economy, India doesn’t have a principal institution that caters to the training needs of the sector,” minister for skill development and entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy has said at a conclave organised by the Automotive Tyre manufacturers Association (ATMA).
Minister has invited the industry to partner with the government for an institution in the model of CIPET or FDDI. The location of the proposed institute is yet to be decided.
Highlighting the diverse needs of skill training In tyre industry, Rudy said that about 15 crore tyres are being manufactured every year, pointing to the need for huge manpower to be trained. There are more than 10,000 dealers of tyres. Tyre alignment and maintenance is a must for safety.
The training needs of the sector are also crucial for safety on the roads. “We are trying to create an ecosystem for skilling through sector skill councils. Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC) is taking care of the skilling aspects of rubber sector,” Rudy said.
Tyre and rubber industry captains are positive about joining hands with the government in a skill excellence institute, although more discussions would be necessary within ATMA, AIRIA (All India Rubber Industries Association) and RSDC ( Rubber Skill Development Council) to take the idea forward, a spokesman of the industry told FE.
According to Raghupati Singhania, former president, ATMA, the value chain of the rubber and tyre sector is long, comprising about one million natural rubber growers and about two million people working in rubber and tyre industries. The country has about 6,000 rubber and tyre manufacturing units and manufacture 35,000 different rubber products besides tyre. “If there was no robust skilling system in the existing workforce and enough new recruits, suge an enormous chain of people and material couldn’t have been kept alive and kicking. At the same time, industry has a continuing appetite for employable skilled people,” he said, indicating that the proposed institute would be indeed useful.
“RSDC has been trying to create a strong ecosystem for rubber sector, like developing National Occupational Standards (NOS), affiliating the trainingproviders, revising curriculum and certification of trainees and trainers,” says Vinod Simon, chairman, Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC).
The thrust of the rubber skilling institute concept is that the training has to be industry-specific and hence the plan to rope in key players in the industry in the running of the institute. Depending on the changing market and technology needs, industry will have the option to design the course content too.