In our June issue, Dr. Rams showed why the industry should not become an out and out training institution but should focus on the highly competitive business opportunities, leaving the major job of training to the Institutions to develop employees with the required mind and skill sets. Stressing that the Institutions should not churn out run-of-the-mill type of people to the Industry, he illustrated the importance of examining how the industry and institutions could integrate their efforts for the common vision and how institutional pedagogy could be restructured to meet the needs of the industry. Dr. Rams continues from where he left off…..
Four vital areas are vital to make Training more result driven and performance oriented:
1) Integration: How the Industry and Institution should integrate their efforts for common vision.
2) Change in Pedagogy: How Institutional pedagogy should be restructured to meet the requirements of the Industry.
3) Convergence: What methodologies should be practiced to make this happen to bring success for both.
4) Model Programme Schedule.
1. How to Integrate
At present, many training institutions provide narrow skill levels. It then becomes a time consuming job for the Industry again to reorient them on processes to match their requirements. When they come out from Institutions, they are not aware of the many basic issues and skills required for an operator. Everyone is in rush and plans for a quick fix rather than stretching beyond to make the trainee a full fledged employee with minimal instructions, that too on the Company’s culture and product profiles. The Industry spend enormous resources, i.e., material, time and money on this trial and error approach.
The main cause for this wide gap is that they never recognised that effective integration with Training Institutions is critical to get the right type of employees to meet ever-increasing global and domestic demands.
The Industry must have collaborative arrangements with the Institutions nearby (local areas) with determination that they will provide all assistance to the Institutions in terms of materials, product profile and subsidised fee structure. They should allow these trainees to visit their Industries during weekends to have a glimpse at the working environment and look into the process from sampling to execution. They will be exposed to all type of machinery, folders, attachments, etc. Supervisors should go once in a week to the Institutions to give orientation on operational methodologies and systems. HR Managers should visit the institution for imparting the knowledge of discipline and mind-set to inculcate healthy habits to enhance personal effectiveness. Doctors should visit Institutions for visual acuity and general health check ups and certify the trainees fit for induction into the Industry. The recruitment process must take place only after this certification.
The Institution faculty members should be provided opportunities to update their knowledge and the current best practices by allowing them periodical visits to the Industry and interact with operational staff. The Industry should conduct a reorientation programme for all Faculty in their area to take that knowledge to the Institution to reinforce their training program suitably. The Industry and the Institution should jointly start Trainers Trainee program for effective co-ordination Ideally speaking, there should be District-level, State-level and National-level awards for the best Institutions based on pre-fixed performance standards. This award ceremony will provide opportunities to all the Institution heads and Faculty members to interact effectively and to update their knowledge to become world-class training centres.
This will enthuse, energise and enhance the relationship between the Industry and Institution and will focus on common vision for increasing the capabilities of the over all performances.
2. Change in Pedagogy
This should aim to make a model curriculum for all the institutions through- out India encompassing the most important aspect of skill-set and mind-set. The institution should train the students to match Industry requirements through more practical work, supported by relevant theory classes. Theory will become useless if not practiced faithfully during the training period to enhance their skill-sets.
The Four broad fundamentals are:
a) Skill related theories
b) Skill related practicals
c) Personal effectiveness
d) HR related subjects
a: Skill related theories :
In the theory part, the following should be considered to make them know the Industry fully and its operational methodologies.
- Machine functions in general
- Machine parts in general
- Different type of machines including special type of machines.
- Products – different categories (men’s, ladies’, kids’, children’s)
- Different Fabrics – woven, knit, silk, wool, imported, etc
- Pattern making including ready patterns
- Threads – colours, twists, packing, applications
- Needles – different type of needles for different stitching
- Attachments, Guides, Folders – to enhance quality and productivity
- Work Aides – as to how this will enhance overall productivity
- Lining Fabrics – different types and its characteristics
- Fusing – different types of fusing
- Accessories – all accessories that go into the product
- Labels – different type of labels and their importance
- Packing Materials/Tags – Its importance and values
- Style Specifications – the specs sheet and its importance
- Washing / Laundering – the methodologies and its characteristics
- Printings – different types of printing and methodologies
- Embroidery – different types of machines and its functions
- Overview of cutting room, quality and packing department functions and presentation
- Colours and matching
- Production systems along with advanced production systems
- Templates and advantages/ different substandard stitches
b: Skill related practices :
- Bobbin/Thread change: including the 5T over lock machine
- Bobbin wind – hand winding as well machine winding
- Machine mechanism- basics changing needles/oil, fit folders, etc
- Feed dog / Throat plate- function and change over
- Fundamental Stitch- the five stitch patterns:
- Sew in Pattern Paper- with different lengths and stitch type
- Sew on Cut Fabrics – different type of fabrics
- Straight single line
- Straight parallel lines
- Square shapes
- Diamond shapes
- Round shapes
- Button hole/attach/bar tack
- Zip attach
- Over locks/ feed-off-arm
- Cut pocket in all categories
- Multi-piece attaching
- Embroidery by hand
- Embroidery by Machine
- Attaching different parts
- Interpret specs sheet for work guidelines
- Make a whole garment
- Men’s wear
- Ladies’ wear
- Kids’ wear
- Outer Wear
- Inner wear
- Fabric laying, spreading, cutting and bundling methods
- Packing methods/ironing
- Pattern paper utilisation
We have to make out personal folders for each trainee and all these works should be validated till such time they acquire accuracy and speed. There must be graphical representation on their productivity improvements and skill level at speed, including the methods they adopt while doing the job. Whoever is unable to accomplish set standards is to be given an extended period of training and they will qualify to work in the Factory only after their completion of successful training in all areas.
Historical data is to be made for each and every activity along with the stitches made in paper as well as in different fabrics and should be validated by the Trainer to understand the final skill levels of the trainees.
Most importantly, the methods adopted by them should have accuracy as well speed. For instance, in a straight line stitch, how many times they stop in between before reaching the final destination is most critical in productivity. The same applies to curve, angular and square stitches. Further, the formulation of the curve/angular/ square stitches will be decisive factors in their quality workmanship.
The critical factors are matching, maintaining shape, doing it in four strokes and tucking; keep the placement marking from shoulder to pocket and placket to pocket. Here, the operator generally finds difficulty in controlling the shape and placement and number of times they stop and complete the whole operation – these are decisive factors in quality and productivity.
Unless the trainee is fully trained in methods, accuracy and speed in all types, it will be difficult at the shop floor level to keep the line balanced. Similarly, for all stitch types, it should be done to capture the accuracy and speed on different fabrics. Again they should be conversant in matching pocket horizontally and vertically in checked fabrics to the front body. Similar practical exercise should be conducted and evaluated. As experience increases, the level of evaluation and types of exercises also increase in difficulty levels.
They should then be tested in armhole, cuff and collar attaching, bottom and side closing, etc., in different categories and fabrics. Meticulous training and repeated practices till accomplishing perfection will help the Industry to induct these trainees onto the shop floor activities with minimum instructions on styles currently on line. In other words, when you develop multi-skilled capabilities at the Institution level, it is easier for the Industry to adopt those trainees in any styles or work station with minimum instructions.
The syllabus should clearly specify the time duration and detailed programme for both theory and practical to encompass all the activities needed to make the trainee a full-fledged operator at the end of the Training Program to fit the Industry’s requirements.
c. Personal Effectiveness:
Our focus has to change towards creating ‘Employable Opportunity’ than a narrow sense of providing ‘Employment Opportunity’. The present scenario is availability of youths with higher literacy level with more vision and energy in enhancing their capabilities in a highly competitive growing Industrial world through education and discipline. In the years gone by, the Industry was compelled to enroll available people with lower literacy levels or completely illiterate to fill the shop floor. At that time the focus was primarily to make the illiterate to carry out the jobs under “ Do as I say and you cannot do anything without my assistance” syndrome. Today, the scenario is totally changed. The educated youth is very ambitious and looking for opportunity to attain economic freedom through enriching their knowledge in the field of their activities.
The Industry‘s major problem is high absenteeism, indiscipline, narrow skilled operators, higher attrition levels, lower productivity and unacceptable quality levels. All these came about since these employees were not properly nurtured and nourished with the true sense of personal effectiveness and not taught about the success of collaborative efforts/ team building in the total growth. They were isolated without providing opportunities to participate in the shop floor effectiveness through their creative thinking and innovative suggestions.
They have been habituated in this process as aliens and grown more with the mind-set “I did as you said, that is all”, “This is my machine”, “Why should I do the absentee’s job; I am a pocket attaching operator; I am an overlook operator; I will not do the repair work, etc.” We are needed to provide opportunities for continuous training and learning process to enrich their knowledge to become multi-skilled operators as well disciplined workers. For the fresher, it is very easy to build the mind-set at the Institution levels and for existing employees, we have to quickly adopt the “Unfreeze – Change – Refreeze” process.
At Institution Level:
The Institution should not underestimate the present youngsters and they should play a vital role to cultivate best practices by enriching their knowledge to adopt to fresh challenges and make them fit the Industry’s requirements.
What the Industry now looking for is a disciplined self-managed multi-skilled operators equipped with the capability to adopt self-inspection procedures to enhance Productivity and Quality. We have to train on:
Through a systematic learning process, the trainees will understand the importance of acquiring this knowledge, not only to contribute at Industry level, but also to mould their behavior to accomplish a healthy and successful personal life.
We can observe in our neighbouring countries that all people congregate well before their time of reporting to pray, followed by loudly repeating the Vision of the Institution. The repetitive practice instills a mind-set on accomplishing the vision by collectively contributing and reinforcing the team spirit in their efforts.
The personal effectiveness will address personal health care, hygiene, house keeping, emotional balance, stress management, stamina building, effective communication, team building, empathy, celebrations, life style and sports activities, etc.
d. Human Resource Related:
- The Human Resources training will encompass the following:
- Basic industry knowledge
- Discipline in factory environment
- The organisation structure
- Attendance, leave and other fringe benefits
- Evils of late coming, erratic absenteeism
- Over view on Employees State Insurance Corporation
- Safety, hygiene, cleanliness
- First Aid, health care and welfare activities
This education will create awareness about the Factory environment and the need for discipline at the shop floor level. This will create awareness on the wide range of opportunities for their personal growth through higher education and to build their own career plan for a bright future.
When we want accomplishment, the most important things is to stretch a little beyond the current scheduling of training period and methodologies so that the Industry gets full-fledged potential employees.
As per research on training, the retaining power of trainees on the subject is more effective, quick and positive when the explanation in words is coupled with visual media and practical demonstrations to understand the right practice and methodologies at first sight. Right First Time is the key for building a quality operator to focus on Productivity and Quality with precision and speed. Transmission of the confidence to the trainees increases possibility of accepting the trainer as an expert in the discipline and will increase their enthusiasm to learn more.
To make this to happen, a seamless training schedule with new tools is to be formulated in consultation with the Academia and industry experts before implementation. Nevertheless, we can provide a model-training schedule subject to review and to reinforce to accomplish the common goal.
All this will happen only when the Industry converges with Institutions for mutual benefits to bring in effective new technology and tools at the Institution level to churn out a disciplined focussed and performance driven future employees.
It is important to maintain progress. If every organisation maintained status quo, the economy would never grow. Growth is most important. Growth means creating something new and valuable. (Richard Koch).
In the next and concluding article in this series, Dr Rams will discuss ‘Convergence’ and ‘Model Programme Schedule’.