TOWARDS ATDC VERSION 3.0... With the ever increasing requirement of skilled-youth in the rapidly growing textile-apparel value chain spread across, all parts of India, there is rapid rise in demand of youth especially women for ‘skill-acquisition’. ATDC, with its bouquet of short & long-term programmes, is now offering Gen-next courses in textile-apparel sector that address critical knowledge and skills required to make the candidate “industry ready” and also hopefully become a ‘creative micro-entrepreneur’. Let us have a detailed look at the strategies which have been adopted to achieve the goal of “imparting skills & improving lives”.
DR. DARLIE O. KOSHY, DG & CEO, ATDC & IAM
Dr. Darlie O. Koshy discusses how the new generation long-term programmes under the ATDC Version 3.0 — that is in tune with an “aspirational India” where everyone deserves an opportunity to move ahead from their current positions in lives — are going to bring a quality thrust for millions of youth who want to make a successful career in the apparel sector
Contact: Apparel Training & Design Centre, National Head Office Paridhan Vikas Bhawan, Plot-No. 50, Institutional Area, Sector-44, Gurgaon-122003 Phone: 0124-4659500/01 Website: www.atdcindia.co.in
ATDC Versions 1.0 and 2.0 In 1996 when ATDC was started, the objective was to run manufacturing related courses which the industry desperately wanted in anticipation of the Quotas phase-out coming up in 2005. ATDC started with certain self-certified courses and also few courses for which sponsorships were available. This went on with chequered progress till early 2009 when things began to change and with huge ISDS support and against heavy odds in 2010, Version 2.0 of ATDC had got into take off stage. ATDC from being a dept. or dependent division of AEPC emerged as ‘an independent Vocational Education Network’ with a clear focus on full-fledged skill training especially for manufacturing activities. The MOT's scheme at that point was still evolving. ATDC had got an opportunity to become an important contributor towards making the ISDS scheme and became an active player in the skill mission taken up by the MOT, GoI since Oct 2010. So ATDC got the unique opportunity to become an Agency of choice of the MOT. At that point of time, it had some minimal infrastructure of 30-35 Centres, some 900 sewing machines and a ‘rearing to grow’ group faculty members. ATDC took up the steep challenge of training 14,000 people in the year of 2010. Till then, ATDC had been training on an average 3,000-3,500 candidate in an year. So to jump from 3,500 or 4,000 to 14,000 itself was a big challenge. But ATDC began an aggressive expansion from 35 Centres to 176 and from 14,000, ATDC leap frogged to train 34,000 people per annum and then went on from 34,000 to 54,000 candidates in an year. That was the time when the infrastructure needed frenetic pace of development. I think the Ministry's CAPEX (Capital Grant Support for Buying Machinery) grant support was a significant feature unlike any other scheme and an important contributor to the success of the mission as no other scheme offered ‘CAPEX’ support for creating contemporary entrepreneur training infrastructure. This catalysed the role of creating the Version 2.0 of ATDC by which we went on from a focus of a modest menu of courses to a ‘bouquet’ of vocational courses — with more focus on entry level training programmes because the industry was facing acute shortage of skilled workforce from 2010 onwards owing to better inflow of orders and the leading up of Chinese economy and rising costs. We acted as a catalyst for rapid chemical reaction. The Apparel Industry sought trained workforce offered by ATDC in and around the Apparel clusters. Then the industry started to extend their support as we were providing an array of services to them. The industry actively started contributing by providing employment to the trained candidates in large number. In “Hunar ki Hunkar” held in Gurgaon during Feb 2014, 1400 appointment orders were issued in one day. ATDC soon revamped the structure of the organisation to set up four Verticals/ SBUs. Vertical One was entirely related to the ISDS. Vertical Two focused on AVI (ATDC Vocational Institutes). Vertical Three was more about sponsorships and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) while Vertical Four focused on the Training of Trainers' (TOT) Academies. Part of vertical One was the SMART project which is running into the pilot project completion by 31st March of 2015. By the time we hit March 31, we should be able to
touch the target completion of 1, 72,000 though the biometric transition and new systems have slowed down the enrolments to some extent and there could be a shortfall in numbers. With that we have actually completed a major watershed in the history of ATDC as it helped to create contemporary – state of art training (stimulated factory) infrastructure and provide adequate training to nearly 1,50,000 candidates and half a million of their family members. ATDC also managed to set up TOT Academies to train our own faculties many of who were in need of training in many respects. We now need to have a creative design-driven approach to apparel as we do in the fashion industry. We need to export high-end clothing including lingerie, structured garment etc. which requires specialized skills in manufacturing, and we need to do specialised garments like industrial clothing etc. and we need to move on from purely cotton to MMF (Man-made fibre) and MMF can have major potential in fashion that we have not even explored. These may require Product Speciality Training Centres. There is a need to channelize innovation from the grass roots — a bottoms-up approach. Pure skill orientation at entry or threshold level is actually contradictory to the aspirational society that India is. ATDC enters Version 3.0 We have now shifted the gears by telling people that let us identify — out of 175-200 ATDC Centres — some Centres to impart higher-level training by turning them into AVIs. We have started upgrading the Centres by investing in Textile Testing Laboratories and more upgraded infrastructure and today, around 65 centres are capable of providing higher-level skill- vocational training. ATDC needs to transition to Version 3.0 with a whole new approach. Are we training with right domain and soft skills to drive sustainable fashion or for that matter other emerging specific requirements of the apparel industry? The flexi-MoU that ATDC signed with the DGE&T, Ministry of Labour and Employment will enable us to do precisely such new initiatives. The biggest advantage of the flexi-MOU with DGE&T is that we can work with the Exporters directly. The training is now outcome-focused and we can make custom-made courses for industry with also focus on one year longer-term courses which have a bright future in skill training. At the end of the day, we are getting specialised people to the job, & make the industry to stand by “trained workforce & professionals” which will help the industry in the long-run. We now have 35 ATDC Centres which have been approved by the AICTE as National Skill Provider for the NSQF. What it allows is that we could train all the skill part of it and the knowledge part will be left to the “knowledge provider” to handle. ATDC has signed an MoU with the AICTE to offer B. Voc (Bachelors’ in Vocational Education) Programmes in Apparel Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship and Fashion Design & Retailing. This will be in collaboration with the RGNIYD, an Institute of National Importance. We have decided to launch B.Voc programmes in over 10 Centres with RGNIYD. To attend to the ever-increasing demand for degree courses, this new futuristic move will facilitate ATDC to offer denovo programmes across the country. ATDC has also affiliated with the Apparel Made-Ups & Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMH-SSC) for 17 “Job Roles” in the apparel sector — a step towards establishing skills and employability based competencies through vocational training under NSQF level 1 to 10 which is based on National Occupational Standards (NOS) co-created by AMH-SSC/NSDC. So Version 3.0 is all about creating the skilled workforce with a new attitude, "upscaling and upskilling" of the apparel-fashion, clothing, garment, lifestyle training systems. The ATDC Version 3.0 is also in tune with the ‘Aspirational India’ where everyone deserves an opportunity to move ahead from their current positions whatever it may be to a better quality of life.