THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An ambitious project to help develop the skills of workers in the construction field and to solve the acute shortage of skilled workers is in the offing.
Kerala Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board is planning to set up ‘Kerala Construction Academy’ on the lines of the National Academy for Construction (NAC), Hyderabad, to impart training to the workers in modern techniques and skills. Once the workers and technicians in the construction industry upgrade and polish their skills they would be able to increase their income and would be in great demand in the country and abroad.
In this connection, former Union Minister of State for Labour Oscar Fernandez had proposed the setting up of construction academies in all states on the lines of NAC.
On the initiative of the Labour Minister Kerala Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board examined the proposal and decided to set up the academy in the state.
For this purpose, former labour commissioner K S Premachandra Kurup was appointed as special officer and he assumed office on July 1. An amount of Rs 20 crore has also been earmarked in the Board’s budget for this purpose.
Premachandra Kurup told Express that a subcommittee with Labour Minister P K Gurudasan as chairman had been set up for the purpose.
“The proposed academy would take care of the skill development of all segments of people involved in the construction industry. It will function like a finishing school,” he said.
He said a team comprising himself and the Board members had visited NAC and held detailed discussions with the Director General and other top officials of the NAC last week.
NAC is functioning in 168 acres of land located in Cyberabad, the Hightech city near Hyderabad. Andhra Pradesh Government and Builders Association of India have jointly set up the Academy. Kurup said that the Andhra Pradesh Government had given great importance to the institution by keeping the Chief Minister as the chairman of the governing council of the Academy. There are over 900 personnel engaged in the Academy which is devoid of political interference to maintain the quality of the faculty.
Now the NAC has started conducting MBA programme in Construction Management and has the prospect of becoming a deemed university. Construction workers, masons, carpenter supervisors, engineers and managing directors of construction companies get trained here and polish their skills.
Premachandra Kurup said that NAC had offered all support to the Kerala Construction Academy. Services of retired engineers and experts from government departments and other established agencies would be engaged as faculty in the Academy. He said that he would submit a report to the Board soon.
However, the location for the Academy has not yet been finalised. “We require at least 25 acres of land for the Academy. We are on the look out for ideal sites in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Ernakulam districts. If everything goes well, we hope to start the Academy in six months” he said.