Better wage for skilled workers: Mohan recently joined a Tirupur-based garment manufacturing company after completing a six-month certificate course from a training organisation and was happy to receive Rs 5,800 per month till he got to know that Ramesh, who joined a month later and did not receive any formal training, is paid only Rs 800 less.
This is not the only case where skilled workers seeking employment in Indian companies are facing disappointment with firms not paying them enough vis-a-vis their unskilled counterparts.
Krishna Kumar, HR manager at Cotton Blossom, admits the difference in wages is not much thanks to the global slowdown. An unskilled sewing machine operator at his firm gets paid Rs 4,750 and a skilled employee is paid Rs 5,850 per month.
“There is an economic slowdown with the factories closing and the UK market not picking up. In such a scenario, giving jobs is important. There is a government guideline for the minimum to be paid to the unskilled worker,” said Kumar of Cotton Blossom which has a tie up with IL&FS and Gram Tarang to source skilled labour as the two agencies train unskilled people and certify them. This is not the only company where the difference between the wages of skilled and unskilled labour is not much.
According to the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), many tier-II companies do not differentiate between the wages they pay to their skilled and unskilled employees which is not motivating the former.
“We feel companies like Andhra Pradesh-based Surya Kiran International and Jamshedpur’s RSB Energy, among others can increase salaries of their skilled staff so that they stay motivated,” said an NSDC spokesperson.
Data shared by the council show Bangalore based Shahi Exports pays a CTC of Rs 6,500 per month to a sewing machine operator while an apprentice for assembly line production operations at Samsung gets Rs 7,500 per month. Compare this with relatively smaller firms where NSDC officials say there is scope to improve salaries.
The NSDC projects and incremental requirement of 347 million personnel — both skilled and unskilled — in 21 high growth sectors by 2022. However, as per