Ten thousand young people from economically and socially weaker sections are being trained in driving skills by Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) as part of a tie-up with National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC).

The company had signed a memorandum of understating (MoU) with NSFDC in October last year, and in the first phase of the project, it trained 3,000 candidates during the January-March quarter.

The objective of the initiative is to help the candidates find livelihood as professional drivers or driving instructors in schools or even become entrepreneurs who could start their own driving schools.

“NSFDC for the first time has tied up with a private sector auto major for imparting training to Scheduled Caste candidates not only in basic and advanced driving skills in a professional manner but also specialised skills required to become instructors in driving schools and to set up their own driving schools,” NSFDC CMD H.S. Kingra said.

While in the first phase the project was rolled out in Haryana, Punjab and Karnataka, during the second phase it will be expanded to Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir. The candidates are selected by NSFDC on the basis of age and income. The training sessions are sponsored by both MSI and NSFDC.

The course includes 30 days’ professional driver programme, 11 days’ entrepreneur programme and 10 days’ train-the-trainer programme.