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Government to focus on developing workforce skills

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New initiative: Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan inaugurating Kerala Institute of Welding and Research at Udyogamandal near Kochi, on Friday.
New initiative: Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan inaugurating Kerala Institute of Welding and Research at Udyogamandal near Kochi, on Friday.

Special Correspondent

Minister inaugurates welding and research institute

KOCHI: Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan said on Friday that skill development of the workforce would be given priority among government schemes. He was inaugurating the Kerala Institute of Welding & Research at Udyogamandal. The institute is a joint initiative of Department of Factories & Boilers and the FACT.

Mr. Gurudasan said the institute would become a welding technology research centre, apart from offering training courses. There was a good demand for trained professionals in various projects in Kochi and other places. The State had started 13 new ITIs last year to give a thrust to skill development, he said.

George Sleeba, Chairman and Managing Director of FACT, said the company was taking up several development projects. These include prefabricated building material manufacturing unit, container freight station, design and engineering project, trade centre and tourism projects.

Though thousands of certificate holders in various trades pass out of ITIs, they are not directly employable by the industries which require specific skills. Welding is of much importance to most industries right from computer manufacturers to giant oil rigs. There is an increasing demand for qualified high quality precision welders in critical application jobs of ship building, heavy engineering and space research. The institute will offer a three-month course initially. Directorate of Factories & Boilers will conduct test and evaluation and award eligibility certificates as ‘IBR qualified welder’. The institute will endeavour to get affiliation for the course from reputed national and international agencies.

K.Sasi, Director of Factories & Boilers, A.M. Yousuf and V.D. Satheesan, MLAs, Sebastian Paul and K.Chandran Pillai, MPs, C.P. Usha, president of Eloor grama panchayat, M.P. Sukumaran Nair, Special Secretary to Chief Minister, V. Radhakrishnan, Executive Director, Cochin Shipyard Limited, K.N. Ravindran, General Manager, BPCL_Kochi refinery, and K. Mathevan Pillai, A. Asokan and V.G. Sankaranarayanan, senior FACT officials, were among the speakers.

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