When I was in Mumbai recently for the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), I had the good fortune to meet Premkumar Kothari, chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI). We spoke about the massive undertaking his organization has taken on.
The GJSCI, formed in 2012, is part of India’s National Skill Development Corporation, and Kothari and his team are working to train workers across the country for jobs in the jewelry industry. The Indian gem and jewelry industry currently employees some 4.6 million people, according to GJSCI, and it is expected that the number of skilled workers needed will double in the next 10 years.
The GJSCI aims to ready those workers by providing certified-training at all levels, including diamond and colored gemstone processing, manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, and exporting, for a reasonable price.
“We have developed 117 job roles and created National Occupational Standards for training, assessment and student manuals, which will be used as a benchmark for training in our industry,” said Kothari.
In addition to providing training, GJSCI also works to support existing industry workers by increasing the minimum wage, supporting statutory benefits, and bettering working conditions.
Later this month, GJSCI expects to debut a series of digital learning courses for workers that will be available in nine languages.
According to trackers on its website, the organization currently has 52,000 trainees enrolled and and has certified 36,000 candidates in various skills.