INDIA: Don Bosco Center for Learning Develops Collaborative Training Partnership with Ford India
(MissionNewswire) According to the International Labor Organization’s Global Employment Trends 2014 Report, the unemployment rate in India has been gradually increasing since 2011 when the rate was at 3.5 percent. The rate rose to 3.6 percent in 2012 and again climbed in 2013 to 3.7 percent. The unemployment rate is expected to continue to grow in 2014, according the report.
With more than 1.2 billion people, India has the world’s fourth largest economy and according to UNICEF, is home to one-third of the world’s poor. Close to 217 million of India’s poor are children. Although more than 53 million people escaped poverty between 2005 and 2010, most remain vulnerable to falling back below the poverty line.
India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, too many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
To address the need for skills training and workforce development for India’s poor youth, Salesian missionaries at the Don Bosco Center for Learning located in Kurla, a suburb just north of Mumbai, have recently inaugurated an Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) center in collaboration with Ford India at the Center’s St. Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute. This is the fourth ASSET training center Ford India has set up in the country aimed at creating a pool of talented and skilled professionals for the automotive industry.
“Collaborations such as these are essential in order to provide youth the necessary skills training to help them break the cycle of poverty and gain meaningful employment,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, “It’s a win-win for both Ford India and the students. Ford India gains a highly trained workforce and the students become contributing members of their communities.”
Ford India has set up an exclusive technical training area at St. Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute where students will be trained in Ford technology as part of the Institute’s motor mechanic vehicle curriculum. To ensure sustainability of the project, Ford’s technical training collaboration includes exclusive train-the-trainer sessions for the Institute’s lecturers.
The ASSET training facility is a collaborative project involving Ford India, Bhavna Ford, Mumbai (a local Ford dealership) and the Institute. Ford India will provide world-class technical know-how, training materials and trained instructors. The local Ford dealership will provide on-the-job training opportunities for students as well as special training sessions at the Institute by master technician trainers to help improve the student’s hands-on skills.
The goal of the program is to provide multiple learning avenues for students enabling them to correctly service Ford cars and become eligible to work in the Ford service network across the country.
The ASSET training facility was inaugurated by P.K. Umashankar, vice-president of customer service operations at Ford India and the director and executive director of the Don Bosco Center for Learning, Father Adolph Furtado and Father Colbert da Silva, among others.
“After the successful launch in Pune last week, we are delighted to come to Mumbai to provide world class automotive training to students in the state of Maharashtra,” says P.K. Umashankar, in a recent India Education diary article about the inauguration. “We are focused to make Ford ASSET program the primary source of trained pool of technicians for Ford dealers and look to expand to more cities in the coming year. With the launch of the program, we have truly created a real asset that will not only help students with better growth and employment prospects but also the automobile industry with skilled workforce.”
International Labour Organization – Global Employment Trends 2014 Report
UNICEF – India