Mumbai-based Pipal Tree Ventures Private Limited is planning to train women in tollgate operations and heavy machine handling.
The programme would start as a pilot in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh from January 2011 with 100-150 women between 18 and 35 years of age.
“The biggest problem in infrastructure and construction sectors is shortage of skilled manpower. Women workers are paid less than their male counterparts and also there participation is very little in the construction industry,” Santosh Parulekar, co-founder and chief operating officer, Pipal Tree Ventures Private Limited, said.
To begin with, the company would provide training in toll operations and later train them as graders and compact operators to work on heavy machines, he added. It has plans to roll out this project in other states depending on the success of the pilot.
Pipal Tree is also planning to set up 20 more schools to provide training for construction workers on a pan-India basis with an investment of Rs 25-30 crore. It currenlty has five such schools. This is part of the company’s target to train 100,000 construction workers in the next five years through its 25 schools.
“We have tied up with Indira Gandhi National Open University to develop the curriculum in Telugu, Marathi, Hindi and in other local languages. In the first month of the course, they would be trained in the school and later the training will be onsite on surveying, heavy machine and plant,” he said.
He said workers engaged in the construction sector in Andhra Pradesh do not migrate to other states for work unlike those in UP and Bihar. “ We are, therefore, trying to train both men and women so that the family can work together.”
Around 10 centres will be operational in the next six months. Pipal Tree, which started operations in 2007, has trained 1,500 workers at its five schools in Rangareddy district (AP), Nashik (Maharashtra), Shahpura (Rajasthan), Muzaffarpur (Bihar) and Raebareli (Uttar Pradesh).