Impact of skilling on construction sector
Authored by Narendra Kumar, CREDAI Vice President – East Zone
Two of the most expected outcomes of skilling across sectors are wage based employment and self – employment. However, the construction sector because of the 40 Million plus it employs has a different outcome. In fact, the conventional ways of skilling do not apply to most of the job roles in the construction sector.
The second largest employer i.e. the construction sector, accounting for 11 per cent of India’s GDP, faces the most obvious question i.e. Either skill and then employ or employ and skill the manpower on the job. Either ways, the Indian realty and construction sector requires 45 million additional skilled manpower over the next decade. Construction sector employs workers who have never had any formal training for the trades they work in. The labour force is peripatetic, seasonal and entirely unstructured leading to workforce in the industry remaining unskilled. Labour was always considered as a disposable resource that shall be replaced with someone of the same competency. Unskilled, untrained labour have a direct impact in the durability, quality, pace & cost effectiveness of construction.
As the apex body of Real Estate developers in India, CREDAI has been giving utmost priority to skilling of construction workers at its member’s developer sites. Since 2011 CREDAI has trained more than 1.25 Lakh workers under various Government funded schemes and CSR projects. Under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) bridge course CREDAI has trained more than 21000 construction workers between 2016-2018 period. CREDAI aims to train 20,000 workers under PMKVY RPL in FY 19 – 20. CREDAI has also signed an MoU with Construction Sector Skill Council (CSDCI) to certify 1 Lakh workers under the RPL 4 scheme.
Skilling of construction workers has a multi-dimensional impact on the sector at large. By taking up skilling at their sites, real estate developers have shown the intent of investing in their workforce, which is largely migratory. This creates a sense of gratitude among the workers and they continue to work at the same site, thereby decreasing the attrition, marginally though.
Besides awarding a Government recognised certificate and insurance for the worker for a period of 3 years, skilling programs boost the overall confidence of the worker. The technical skills taught during the on job trainings increase the efficiency of the workers, thereby improving the overall quality of construction. Supervisors and site engineers of workers who have undergone skill training have mentioned decrease in wastage of material like cement, sand etc and minimal supervision of skilled workforce.
Under RERA in case of any structural defect or any other defect in workmanship, quality within a period of five years is the liability of developers and skilling of construction workers will directly help developers in avoiding any such situation.
Most of the developers and contractors who have undertaken CREDAI Skill training at their sites have mentioned that the programme was very useful because it addresses several pivotal issues concerned to emerging technologies & skill sets in the Indian construction sector. They have positively accorded that the training has boosted conﬁdence of construction workers and subsequently improved work-related eﬃciency.
Skilling of construction workers is a win-win for all stakeholders i.e. the labour, contractor and the real estate developer. I urge my fellow developers to undertake skilling at their construction sites as this not only makes a strong business case, but also empowers one of the most marginalized section of our country, the construction workers.