Skill Building - Bridging the Gap

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Established with a view to enhancing the employable skill sets of underserved youth of the nation, HCCB’s Career Development Centres (CDCs) are helping them fulfill their aspirations.

“All you deserve is Rs. 1,700 per month.” This is what Akshara Singh (18) (name changed) was told when she approached her employer for a salary hike. For someone whose family was struggling to make ends meet, this sounded like a death knell. But thanks to the job oriented courses she attended at one of the Career Development Centres (CDCs) of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), at Hapur district in Uttar Pradesh, her salary has increased by more than 5 times within a span of a year.

And, Akshara is not an isolated case. She is one of the 13,000 educated and underserved youth who have attended and benefitted from the beverage manufacturer’s skill development initiatives so far. In fact, the females constitute almost 50 per cent of the candidates enrolled so far.

Most of the youth participating in HCCB’s career development programme come from the rural and semi-urban areas and lack the skill-sets that employers are looking for. It is indeed heartening to note that many of these candidates, on completion of the training programs at the respective CDCs, are being employed by some prominent corporates. Easy Day, Big Bazaar, McDonalds, KFC, Eureka Forbes, to name a few.

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Overall, more than 7600 youth have been placed in different organisations till date with an average salary of around Rs. 8500 per month. Out of the total youth placed, over 3000 are girls.

Starting with the establishment of the first CDC in 2011 in the vicinity of its plant in Hapur district, Uttar Pradesh, there are four more centres in different parts of the country. The other four centres are located at Ameenpur in Telangana, Khurda in Odisha, Pirangut in Maharashtra and Bidadi in Karnataka.

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Equipped with modern facilities such as desktops with Internet, audio-visual learning aids and library, these centres are designed to foster a learning environment. In collaboration with NIIT Foundation, the Career Development Centers design and develop training courses keeping in mind the requirements of entry level jobs in the organised sectors - retail showrooms, services, food & beverage industry. These are high demand sectors and hence it is relatively easy for skilled youngsters to gain employment in these domains.Skill development initiatives are a part of the company’s community development program to bring quality training within easy reach of the educated, unemployed and underserved youth.

In its continuing efforts to provide industry-ready skills to the underserved youth, each career development centre offers training courses ranging from one-week duration to four-month duration. Administered by the trained faculty at NIIT Foundation, the pedagogy involves both class room training as well as practical aspects through industry visits, group activities and counseling. Apart from certificate programs in auto retail, manufacturing, customer services, BPO voice-based processes and basic IT skills, the course curriculum also provides soft skills training around personality development, English speaking, English writing and job readiness. On completion of the job-oriented course, each student gets four interview opportunities and the faculty and career counselors help in preparing candidates for job interviews.

The HCCB initiative assumes greater significance in view of the prevailing unemployment scenario. The company through CDC is attempting to achieve the twin goals of (1) bridging the skill gap of the youth and (2) an organisation’s hunt for employable talent.

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