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'18 mn skilled workers needed for Handlooms & Handicrafts'
Oct '15
India's Handlooms and Handicrafts sector is expected to require 17.79 million skilled workforce by 2022 and is projected to grow 16 per cent. More than 90 percent of the incremental human resource requirement is expected to be in the minimum education category as the industry does not mandate any specific education level for employment, according to a recent report by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).

Formed in 2010, NSDC is mandated to skill 150 million Indians by 2022.

India was the biggest producer of jute in the world with 1.67 million tonnes, second in silk production with 23679 MT, second in cotton production with 5.7 million tones and fifth in synthetic fibre production during 2012–13. India is the biggest exporter of yarn in the international market with 25 per cent share in the world yarn export market; along with 12 per cent share in yarn and textile fibre production in the world. India has the highest capacity of loom with a share of 61 per cent in the world loom age. To maintain its leadership position India will require skilled manpower with latest expertise and knowledge about the sector.

According to the report majority of Handlooms workers have never received any kind form of formal education (rural 32 per cent and urban 29 per cent). Weaving skills are traditionally inherited from community-based learning, indicating the limited need for educational qualification as a criterion to pursue handloom works. Geographically 60.5 per cent (16.83 lakhs) of handlooms/ weaver households is located in northeast India. Assam accounts for 44.6 per cent (12.41 lakhs) and other states, such as West Bengal, consist of 4.07 lakhs (14.6 per cent), Andhra Pradesh consists of 1.77 lakhs (6.4 per cent).

Traditional form of teaching, training and skill development for the Handlooms and Handicrafts sector remained absent in our formal education system, including research institutes. Unlike apparel and fashion sectors, direct linkages between handicraft producers and designers are still lacking. There is inadequate knowledge on latest machines, trends and designs, since knowledge is confined to local trends.

“The handloom and handicrafts sector represents and holds the culture and tradition of our country but it has been unorganised for a long time. The market that artisans traditionally catered to are significantly different from modern markets in terms of customer segments. Artisans lack knowledge on demographics and spending behaviours. It's time for the industry to come forward and work together to upscale this section of our society and give ample opportunity to the youth in this segment and promote their skill and talent. In this way, we can bring growth to not only this sector but also add to the rich art and culture of our country,” said Naishadh Parikh, Chairman, Textiles & Handloom sector skill council. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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