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CITI finds ways to mitigate textile sector labour shortage
Aug '11
Various government schemes as well as alternative employment opportunities are increasing the pace of shortage of labour in the textile industry. Major textile hubs like Surat and Ludhiana are in vice-like grip of labour shortage.

A survey by ASSOCHAM reveals that around 45 percent of the textile units surveyed said that they were utilizing only 50-60 percent of their capacity due to scarcity of labour.

At a recent textile conference, Mr Anand Parekh – President (Textile Division) – Reliance Industries Ltd had counted labour shortage, as amongst the biggest challenges confronting the Indian textile industry.

In order to mitigate its pains, the industry is tying up with various Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) as well as setting up training centres and provide skill development, to ensure good availability of skilled workforce.

However, Mr Manickam Ramaswamy, MD - Loyal Textiles begs to differ. In a recent interview to fibre2fashion he had said, “I would call it non-availability of low cost labour. Labour is available and that too plenty but, you have to pay a price.

“Thanks to Government schemes like NREGA, people do not want to work at salaries which are not covering their costs. We want to hire workers at pathetic wages and when we do not get them, so we complain that we are not having workers.

“Workers are available and if you pay a decent salary they are willing to work regularly, they are willing to stay with you. So, we have to rework our economics based on the minimum salary which is required by the workers”.

“Labour crisis is now coming down because, production has come down; otherwise labor crisis was a major issue”, Mr DK Nair - Secretary General - Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) told fibre2fashion.

“Training institutes are being set up for training labor. We have a large project for skill development which will be starting soon. But, right now, that becomes a non-issue because now, mills are trying to ensure that they are able to operate their units properly. So temporarily, labour crisis has been stemmed. Since, if you do not produce, you do not need anybody to produce” he informed.

He continued, “The problem is of both - availability and skills. The skill development program that we have initiated apart from providing marginal training also, is on the lookout for the workforce. The main training will be provided in the unit itself. But, the main question is of mobilizing and finding people who have the aptitude for doing this kind of work.”

Revealing details about the program, he said, “The CITI project covers weaving and processing. We are not handling the garment sector because there are several institutions which are already working towards that sector. The institutes have not been set up as of now. We have only started with the project.

“Implementation of the project will take at least a year. Our plan is to have 14 centres but the size, location, etc is ye to be finalised. It will take about a year for us to start these centres”, he concluded by saying.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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