M. Soundariya Preetha

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (Codissia) will focus on developing skilled manpower for the small-scale units here, as the need of the hour is skilled workforce.

According to its newly-elected president, K. Balachandran, the attrition rate of skilled workers in the SSIs here is 30 to 40 per cent. "On an average, three to four people are needed in at least 300 SSIs here now." These workers are paid Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 8,000 a month and a casual worker gets about Rs.80 a day, he adds. "Though there are opportunities and demand, we do not get workers." Mechanising works in the SSIs is not financially feasible.

"We have to gear up for growth, which is inevitable. And, the stress is on manpower development."

Appeal

Hence, the association appealed to the State Government to establish a training centre here to offer three to six-month courses.

Mr. Balachandran pointed out that now the units recruited workers, trained them in the units and they left the unit in a year or two. "We train the workers at our units and they leave in a few months." Further, the number of workers coming from rural areas had reduced due to revival of the agricultural sector. The industry can provide the required machines for the training centre and provide placements for the candidates.

The association would also look at collective buying of raw materials. Even a small group with about 10 units could take up bulk purchase of raw materials and this would save at least the freight cost.

Even that would benefit the units, he pointed out.

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