Tata Projects: Upskilling Workers & Embracing Technology in Construction

Chief Human Resources Officer, Tata Projects
Tata Projects is investing in workforce through upskilling programs, technology adoption, and partnerships with skill development councils. They're empowering workers, improving safety, and driving innovation in construction industry.

Ritesh Pratap Singh - Chief Human Resources Officer, Tata Projects

It is estimated that close to 7 crore workers are employed in the construction sector. Of this, 80% are unskilled and approximately 20% are skilled workers. Of the skilled, approximately 85% are engaged in the real estate sector while the rest are in Infrastructure construction. However, the challenges related to skill shortage are addressable. We believe that there are good opportunities to increase this proportion of skilled workers by addressing some of the key concerns related to mobilization and retention.

Training follows the National Skill Development Council (NSDC)
We upskill workers from helpers to semi-skilled category: We have internal trainers who are certified in their respective trades by Construction Skill Development Council of India (CSDCI) and are available full-time at site to impart training. Through these trainings, we upskill workers from helpers to semi-skilled category. Training trades include assistant shuttering carpenter, assistant mason, manual metal arc welder, assistant bar bender, steel fixer, and assistant electrician.

Training follows the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) framework with applicable National Occupational Standards (NOS) in terms of content, delivery methodology, assessment, and certification. We have also identified trainers at each of the sites and the training is supported by expert trainers onsite. Training follows a hybrid approach, that is, on the job and through classroom learnings.

Training follows the National Skill Development Council (NSDC)
Evolving technologies are playing a significant role in equipment operation and maintenance:
We have commenced safety training using VR devices. Training focuses on how we leverage technology in safe operations, improve productivity and operation efficiency. Our F&R team, internal trainers, vendors and SMEs support the capability building to keep pace with technology. Some of the areas include drone operations, sensor applications in measuring equipment fuel efficiency, GPS sensor and fuel sensors, use of digital load cell technology which eliminates tempering activity, and safety in operations where virtual area barricading is done while transporting the segments, RSO (Radiation Safety Officers) for supervisors, etc.

We have formed partnerships with skill developing councils to facilitate hands-on training opportunities for our workers: We have an MoU with the Construction Skill Development Council of India (CSDCI), Hydrocarbon Sector Skill Council (HSSC), and the Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC).

While CSDCI supports us in administering RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) at Building & Infrastructure sites, HSSC supports us in Energy & Industrial Infrastructure sites. We are also working closely with SDI Kochi, SDI Bhubaneshwar, etc. to meet our requirement of welders and fitters for our manufacturing unit in Nagpur.

With CIDC, we have commenced skill development programmes such as “Skill Shakti” and “Nirman Nayak”. While Skill Shakti creates an opportunity for workers to move from being a helper to the next level, the Nirman Nayak program provides skilled workers to pursue vocational degree programs without compromising their regular earnings.

the Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC)

Few key areas of focus include retention, productivity, quality assurance and effectiveness of engagement. We have started paying special attention to some of these areas. Construction companies along with the government should explore opportunities such as:
  • Mobilize the local community with the help of agencies.
  • Encourage gender diversity.
  • Support workers’ families with better living conditions.
  • Provide facilities like water, good accommodation, hygienic food, medical facilities at project site.
  • Make week-end recreation arrangements.
  • Ensure overall well-being including mental health.
  • Incentivise labours who stay longer with the contractor company.
  • Create career opportunities in the sector.
  • Provide Life Insurance / Accident Insurance.
NBM&CW - May 2024
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