INDIA: Toyota and Don Bosco Center for Learning Develop Collaborative Training Partnership
(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco Center for Learning at the Salesian-run Saint Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute in Kurla, a suburb of Mumbai, India, has developed a collaborative training partnership with Toyota, a Japanese automaker. The partnership will launch a one-year training program in vehicular body and paint repairs with a curriculum that introduces students to Toyota’s advanced technology and service techniques. Students will be trained in basic body and paint repair skills in addition to dealer specific requirements to prepare them for work in Toyota factories and service centers.
Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India given the current state of the country’s economy. According to the International Labor Organization’s Global Employment Trends 2015 Report, India experienced a sharp slowdown in the economy during 2012 and 2013 when growth dropped below 5 percent. The economy grew slightly faster in 2014 reaching 5.4 percent, reflecting an improvement in the growth rate of the services sector and a better monsoon season than originally anticipated. However, the unemployment rate for youth is remaining flat after having risen 3.6 percent in 2012 and again climbed in 2013 to 3.7 percent.
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.
For poor youth who lack access to education and skills training, risk of exploitation in the labor market increases as does their chance of continuing to live in conditions of poverty. The current automobile repair industry in India is characterized by an inadequately skilled workforce and a lack of professional training opportunities for repair and diagnostics. The Toyota training program at the Don Bosco Center for Learning, which was been successfully facilitated in 53 countries, will enhance the technical abilities and employability of its trainees. Youth between the ages of 16 and 18 will have access to this program.
“At present, there is a huge skills gap in the automotive repair industry in India,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This partnership is meant to address the rise in youth unemployment while providing Toyota a skilled employable workforce. Students will now have access to training and education that will lead directly to long-term stable employment.”
Toyota will train Salesian instructors at the Don Bosco Center for Learning in the latest technologies specific to the Toyota brand and the automotive industry in general. In addition, Toyota has provided high-tech training packages including tools, equipment and Toyota-specific service training manuals and materials. Once students successfully complete the classroom education part of the program, they will have access to hands-on job training in one of Toyota’s dealerships. It is anticipated that upon successful completion of the program, students will easily gain employment with Toyota.
“To further help prepare students for the workforce, Salesian missionaries will offer students in this program resume writing assistance, interview skills training, life skills training and other social development services,” adds Fr. Hyde. “The goal is to help students break the cycle of poverty, gain stable employment and contribute back to their communities.”
International Labour Organization – World Employment Social Outlook 2015
UNICEF – India