Schneider Electric India Foundation empowers youth through its Vocational Skill Development Program
Founded in 2008, Schneider Electric India Foundation (SEIF), the CSR arm of Schneider Electric India group - a leading name in digital transformation of energy management and automation: with a mission to empower lives for inclusive growth through initiatives in 6 focus areas: Employment, Electrification, Entrepreneurship, Education, Environment & Emergency.
SEIF started its Vocational Skill Development Program in 2009 with a vision to empower the youth and bridge the existing gap in demand and supply of skilled workforce in energy domain. Aligned with Government of India’s Skill India Mission, the program aims to enhance the employability of school/ college dropouts to create a pool of trained professionals for energy domain. Chalked out to create an ecosystem of apex vocational training bodies, credible NGOs, Government technical institutes and SEIF, the program acts as an enabler for the marginalized youth, thus contributing to 4 SDGs, i.e., SDG1 (No Poverty), SDG2 (Zero Hunger), SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and SDG10 (Reduced Inequalities).
The program is executed via a sustainable partnership model to ensure longevity by replicating and scaling on the best practices of both partners, targeting a 360-degree development of the trainees via classroom program, hands on training, job fairs and interaction with industry stalwarts and emerging entrepreneurs. It focuses on innovative and futuristic trades such as Data center management for which India’s first of its kind data center for skilling of entry level professionals has been set up by SEIF and industry leading STT Global Data Centers, in Bangalore. Seeing the rising demand for skilled resources in renewable energy sector, solar training curriculum has also been structured into the program.
With the onset of pandemic, a hybrid model of training was adopted, promoting self-paced learning management system, digital classrooms, and practical sessions in small batches, maintaining COVID appropriate behavior. SEIF also focuses on incubation for aspiring entrepreneurs by providing quality products, direct distributor linkage, business set up, operations support and techno-commercial trainings.
It has adopted a 3-tier approach to influence the energy ecosystem which includes:
Ms. Priyanka Dalvi, a beneficiary of SEIF’s Vocational Skill Development Program, whose father is a small farmer and mother is a bedridden housewife, says, “Earlier, it was difficult to manage day to day expenses. I was able to support my family because of the skill training received at the academy. Thanks, ICICI Academy for this great lift in my life.” She learnt skills and made new friends. Industrial Visits, and in-house workshops made her confident. She got placed in JABIL in March, 2019 and is presently earning INR 14000 per month. She also received Best Performance Award in May, 2019. She sent the award amount to her family and supports her brother’s education.
Ms. Puja Sutar, another beneficiary of the program, whose father is a carpenter in village, mother is housewife, and younger brother is studying, says, “My family was facing financial problems. Training at the ICICI academy made me fearless. The skill training at ICICI academy helped me stand on my feet, independent and I started earning on my own.” Industrial Visits gave her the confidence and changed her shy nature. She also got placed in JABIL and is currently earning INR 12700 per month. After her placement, she was able to help her father to buy advance carpentry equipment, which enabled him to take bigger work of carpentry.
Till date, SEIF has established 324 training centers in 26 states across India, including 24 aspirational districts with the help of 48 partners. These centers have trained 142214 youth (including 5025 females) in energy domain - 944 trainers have been trained with the help of Centers of Excellence. 82% of the trainees have been placed post course completion and 914 aspiring entrepreneurs have been incubated and supported to start their own business.
SEIF has also provided access to energy to more than 49,000 households impacting over 2,00,000 lives through rural electrification. The foundation has sensitized more than 77,000 students in 793 schools in energy conservation. It has provided around 500 scholarships to meritorious students who aspire to go for higher education.
By 2025, SEIF aims to create 3,00,000 skilled energy professionals and 5200 master trainers through its 550 training centers. It also aims to provide access to digital education to 35,000 students across 150 rural schools, sensitize 1,20,000 school students as green energy ambassadors, and create a carbon sink base for 2,40,000 tons of CO2 through tree plantation.