Toyota India’s in-house technical training institute has trained, and successfully placed, more than 540 students over the past 10 years, without charging any tuition or hostel fees from them
During their morning assembly, students shout at the top of their voice. In the future, this will help them effectively communicate with others in a noisy car factory. They also parade in an orderly fashion. In the future, this will help them be more efficient at workplace. These are the 190-odd students, all boys, at the Toyota Technical Training Institute (TTTI), established by Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) in 2007 within the premises of company’s manufacturing plant at Bidadi, near Bangalore.
The TTTI offers a three-year programme that aims at holistic development of knowledge, skills, body and attitude. The curriculum comprises of basic subjects, recreational activities, and training on automobile assembly, automobile paint, automobile weld and mechatronics. Students are also given practical training by applying the renowned Toyota Production System (TPS) to the various manufacturing processes at the Toyota plant.
A unique thing about the TTTI is that students don’t have to pay any fees. They are chosen from amongst underprivileged families in the region, and must have successfully passed 10th standard exam with 50% marks, in maths and science. For final admission, they have to pass a written test.
“We take 64 students per batch,” says V Wiseline Sigamani, deputy general manager, Toyota Learning & Development India. The first batch started in 2007 and passed in 2010. “At any point of time, we have about 190 students on the campus.”
Students study the usual ITI curriculum during these three years, “plus we have added industry requirements and picked up best practices from Japan,” Sigamani adds. At the end of training, they earn national apprenticeship certificate that is accepted for all government jobs, and also valued globally. In addition, they earn a Toyota certificate and a Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM) certificate.
JIM vs TTTI
In 2017, Japan’s ministry of economy, trade and industry announced that four JIMs will be opened in India. Now operational, these are the Maruti Suzuki JIM (Mehsana, Gujarat); Daikin Japanese Institute of Manufacturing Excellence (Neemrana, Rajasthan); Yamaha Motor NTTF Training Center (Chennai, Tamil Nadu); and the TTTI, already in operation since 2007, was also selected as a JIM.
Interestingly, Sigamani says, when the 2007 batch passed out in 2010, each student had 3-4 jobs in hand, and the trend has been maintained. What has helped is that Toyota invites its suppliers and other associates to the campus. “But students don’t have to sign any bond,” he adds. “This word of mouth (of getting secure jobs) has helped us attract a lot of students over time. In fact, this year, we received 6,000 applications for 64 seats.”
As of now, 45% students who have passed from the TTTI are working within the TKM ecosystem at the plant, and 55% are with company’s suppliers. While there are jobs at the dealer and servicing levels as well, Sigamani says not many have taken these. “It’s my job to help students get the best salaries, and salaries at dealer level are not as good as at company/supplier level.”
As far as language skills are concerned, students learn English, Hindi and try to become better in their local language. “We also used to teach them Japanese, but now it is taught on a case-to-case basis.”
The training is intense. There are two semesters of six months each, and students are allowed to go home one week per semester. “However, if parents wish to visit, we offer them rooms in a dormitory where they can stay for a day or two.”
Because both boarding and lodging are free of cost for the entire duration of three years, Sigamani says they have to ensure only the eligible get in. “We carry out two kinds of checks on the final 64 students we select each year. One, we hire an external agency to check on any criminal or police records. The second check is usually done by our staff, who visit the families to ensure they are, indeed, from underprivileged background,” he adds.
Next batch onwards, the TTTI will start accepting girl students. “To begin with, it will be a day course. We will provide girl students, from poor families, free education, breakfast, lunch and evening tea. We will also offer them daily free transport. This day course will be both for girls and boys, and will increase number of students per batch to 120 from the current 64.”
The TTTI, Sigamani adds, has trained, and successfully placed, over 540 students since the first batch passed out in 2010.