33-year-old Pawan from Jaipur is one of the millions of Indians who lost their job due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. However, with a little help with upskilling and training from a government-approved course, she is now making masks and managing a girls’ hostel in her town.
Pawan got this help thanks to Capacita Connect, an organisation geared towards getting migrants and labourers trained and job-ready in these unprecedented times.
The online platform helps match skilled human resources with specific requirements of industries. Amazingly, Capacita Connect claims over 20,000 migrants have taken their services, upgrading their skills and landing jobs since March, 2020. Here’s how all this happened.
Need to upgrade skills
“Many people, especially migrants, suffered hugely by losing jobs across sectors. We got a list of about 15 lakh migrants who returned to Rajasthan from the government and decided to help,” Shipra Sharma Bhutani, the founder, says.
Shipra says with existing jobs gone there were opportunities in other sectors. “For example, a person working in the hospitality industry as a housekeeping staff suddenly lost their job as hotels shut down. But there were hospitals requiring housekeeping staff,”
So with some training the same person could get fit in a different sector. “We have ensured to put them in similar job roles, but in a different sector where the needs exist,” Shipra says.
The startup asks migrants to register with them for upgrading their skills. Once registered, the candidate has to study a course similar to their field or in the area where they would like to find a job. The registration fees cost between Rs 1,500 and Rs 3,000 depending on the skillset and the sector.
Similar jobs in different sectors
The courses are conducted from the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Government of India.
Shipra says the course requires physical and online means to pursue. “Once the candidate has studied, s/he has to undergo a test. The tests are held at one of the centres. Once the candidate passes, they are directed into their chosen sector to get absorbed by companies,” she adds.
The scores of the candidate lists are uploaded on the government website, and certificates are issued accordingly.
Gurdeesh Sandhu, a health worker, also lost her job in the pandemic. “I learned some modules on teaching and am now conducting sessions on taking health precautions and following safety protocols during Covid-19,” she adds.
“Many migrant labourers are now stitching masks, making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, and also working in logistics and textile industries. The migrants now have a job paying between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000. They also got jobs in their home state,” Shipra says.
The entrepreneur said major companies like PayTm, ICICI, SBI and other companies are looking for 5,000 candidates to make QR codes and also assist in sales. “There are opportunities, but just in different sectors now,” she adds.
Shipra says that she understands the importance of developing strong skills and is helping people to find the right jobs for over a decade now.
“I used to teach economics at BITS-Mesra and realised that skills are more important to add value to the degree. I started a small office in a basement in 2009 helping war widows, manual scavengers, inmates learn skills and get good jobs,” Shipra says.
“We have 500 manual scavengers working in shopping malls, war widows working in security and also inmates running their small business along the streets,” Shipra tells The Better India, adding that no money is charged from such individuals.
Shipra has also launched an App Skill Mitra that helps candidates register and also learn some courses on the go.
“Companies from Dubai and Saudi Arabia are seeking partnerships to recruit plumbers and electricians. We are also in the process to fundraise money for people belonging to economically weak backgrounds,” she adds.
Here’s hoping they continue to provide avenues to those who need it the most nowadays.
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)