The construction sector in India, which is one of the biggest employers in the country, suffers on account of a severe lack of skilled labour. In a bid to overcome this challenge, L&T Construction set up the Construction Skills Training Institute (CSTI) at Panvel in 1996.
CSTI’s aim is to provide people with the right skills required for finding employment in the construction industry. The institute focuses on preparing a workforce of skilled men across difference trades in construction. The institute offers courses in formwork carpentry (for a duration of three months), bar bending and steel fixing (three months), masonry (three months), tiling (three months) and pipe welding (twomonths). The courses offered by CSTI are highly focused and run for short periods of time. Any individual who has passed the Class 5 in school and is between the age of 18 and 35 years is eligible to apply. Admissions are open throughout the year with the first week of every month being reserved for admission activities.
Spread across 8 acres of land, the Panvel campus comprises an institute building, 2.75 acres of open land for imparting practical training to the trainees and a four-storeyd hostel. The institute building has nine classrooms, an e-learning room, a tool and model display hall, a conference room, a store room, a doctor’s clinic, a pantry, and dedicated spaces for instructors, demonstrators and support staff. The hostel has 75 rooms, each designed to provide lodging for four trainees, a canteen, a dining hall and a recreation room. At present, the institute has four instructors and 12 demonstrators, all experts in their respective disciplines.
CSTI, Panvel, provides the training, uniform, toolkits, food and accommodation free of cost. It has kept the eligibility criteria fairly relaxed so as to allow the maximum number of youngsters to enrol for the courses on offer. This is because in most cases the social profile of the candidates is such that they have access to very few opportunities. The duration of the courses has also been kept fairly short in light of the fact that many trainees have families dependent on them and cannot afford to remain out of work for too long. The modular nature of each of the five courses offered ensures that there is absolute clarity and focus on the education imparted. The institute also lays great emphasis on practical training so as to ensure the trainees are readily employable. CSTI also ensures that the trainees are familiarised with the latest construction technologies and advanced methodologies to be able to keep pace with changes in industry.
In addition, there is a special focus on the assessment of trainees. Periodic tests by both in-house faculty and visiting experts are conducted. A separate assessment conducted by the National Skill Development Corporation through the Construction Skill Development Council of India, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, is also conducted. Special courses are also offered to the candidates once they have gained professional industry experience to ensure that the graduates make progress in their career.
Over the past 20 years, CSTI, Panvel, has trained more than 8,000 men across several trades and helped them find employment as semi-skilled or skilled workers. In addition to the Panvel campus, L&T has set up seven other CSTIs all over the country. These are located at Delhi, Kanchipuram, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Cuttak, Jadcherla and Ahmedabad. The training imparted by these institutes has equipped the students to earn higher wages and build better lives for themselves and their families. CSTI has also helped place successful candidates at various L&T project sites.