New Delhi:On the occasion of World Youth Skills Day, Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, announcesthat nearly 11,000 youths across Odisha and Chhattisgarh have been trained throughitsskill developmentinitiatives. Focusing onrural communities near its operations, these programs are helping bridge the gap between unskilled and semi-skilled youths through a three-pronged approach. Theyinclude trainings in market-relevant vocational skills, entrepreneurship and farming &animal husbandry, enablingyouths to enter the socio-economic mainstream through sustainable livelihoodopportunities.
Vedanta Aluminium is an active supporter of the Government of India’s ‘Skill India’ vision, undertakinga slew of skill development programswhich are closelyaligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) 1 and 8, namely, No Poverty and Decent Work and Economic Growth. They are designed and deployedin close partnership with leading knowledge providers such asNABARD and the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), ensuring that youths are trained only on relevant curriculum and in-demand skillsets.
Vedanta Aluminium’s skill development endeavours encompass three focal areas, which are:
• Vocational skills: BALCO, India’s iconic aluminium producer and a subsidiary of Vedanta Aluminium based in Korba, Chhattisgarh, has undertaken the Vedanta Skill School program which imparts free training in six trades,including food & beverage, welding, sewing machine operation, solar PV technician, electrician, and fitter, in accordance with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) guidelines.At Lanjigarh, Odisha, home to Vedanta’s world class alumina refinery, the company has launched a Skill Training Program in partnership with NABARD, creating employment opportunities by enhancing skillsets in areas such as housekeeping and tailoring.
Vedanta Aluminium has also partnered with the Skill Development Institute in Bhubaneswar to offer a training program to youths in Sundargarh, Odisha as industrial electricians. The company has introduced a drivers’ training program in partnership with Society for Government of Odisha – Ashok Leyland HMV Driver Training Institute in Chhatia, Cuttack. These programs typically range between 2-6 months in duration.
• Entrepreneurship: In addition to its development programs focused on youths, Vedanta Aluminium is also empowering rural women through the Subhalaxmi Co-operativein Odisha, benefiting over 4000 members. The project provides micro-finance, skill development, financial literacy, and market linkage, building aspiring women entrepreneurs. By equipping artisans with modern techniques, the company has revivedancient art forms like Dhokra and Saura,empowering artisans to create contemporary designs for higher demand.This inclusive approach extends to local SHGs in Chhattisgarh, where skill development programs enable women to take up productionof market-viable products, from handicrafts to exotic chocolates.
• Farming & animal husbandry: Through its Jeevika Samriddhi livelihood project, the company has also conducted several sessions on climate resilient farming practice and modern practices on animal husbandry, benefitting more than 330 households. Through its Project Sustainable Livelihood in Lanjigarh and Mor Jal Mor Maati project in Korba,the company provides training in a number of integrated community-based interventions that strive to improve incomes through better farming practices, water management, soil conservation, livestock husbandry, market linkages, and more.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sunil Gupta, COO, Vedanta Ltd – Aluminium Business commented, “India has the youngest population in the world and our country’s progress lies in leveraging this demographic dividend, imparting them with the right skills as the landscape of work evolves. By providing avenues for local youth to acquire essential skills, Vedanta Aluminium enables them to secure gainful employment within and beyond their communities.”
Underscoring the efforts of the company, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO and Director, BALCO, said, “Vedanta BALCO is committed to empowering the youth of our nation with sustainable livelihood opportunities. Our skill development programsaim to equip them with the tools they need to shape their destinies and contribute to their communities, focusing on providing comprehensive training in diverse yet relevant sectors. By aligning skills with market demand, we aim to cultivate a workforce that is both adaptable and competitive.”
Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.29 million tonnes in FY23. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 2nd in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2022 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.