Strategic Manufacturing Sector Skill Council (SMSSC)
Strategic Manufacturing Sector Skill Council (SMSSC)

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Strategic Manufacturing Sector Skill Council (SMSSC)

The Strategic Manufacturing Sector Skill Council (SMSSC) is registered under the Societies Act. The Council is supported by the Ministry of Skills Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Govt of India and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) & promoted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The SMSSC will help develop a trained workforce for defence equipment manufacturing, shipbuilding and repair, homeland security equipment and safety and fire fighting & safety equipment.

A highly technical and capital intensive sector; strategic manufacturing is essential for security and self-reliance in critical technologies and products. Currently, the country meets 60% of its defence requirements through imports and spends 31.5% of its defence budget on capital acquisitions.

Availability of engineers and skilled personnel is among the biggest challenges for the strategic manufacturing sector as more products are envisaged to be manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ and Offset Policy. The sector requires high precision levels and the current training infrastructure is inadequate to create the required skilled manpower base.

There is an urgent need to identify the prevalent skill gaps, assess the demand for various skill sets and build a skilled workforce. In order to achieve this, all the stakeholders will have to work collectively. India will need approximately 18 lakh technically highly-skilled, skilled and semi-skilled workers for the sector over the next decade.

The SMSSC has been created to address this requirement and to function as the interface between the Industry and the MSDE in the Strategic Manufacturing Sector. The SMSSC will also keep track of the labour market, identify skill gaps, frame national occupational standards, ensure adequate availability of faculty, build accreditation and certification mechanisms and encourage framing capacity building through private sector participation.

There is a shortage of training organizations with the necessary capability and infrastructure to skill people for this niche sector. Accordingly, SMSSC will also take a lead role in enlisting the support of the Defence PSUs for utilizing their existing skill training infrastructure to skill and upskill existing and new workers in this sector.

The SMSSC has an important role to play to train the existing trainers in the defence Manufacturing Sector in order to upgrade their skill sets in keeping with current international practices and national norms.

Another important function that the SMSSC seeks to perform is to develop linkages between the Industry and the vast pool of trained and disciplined Ex-servicemen who retire each year and who collectively represent a skilled manpower base. Approximately 60,000 Ex-servicemen retire each year. The capability of the skilled and technically qualified Ex-servicemen can be leveraged by both the private and public sector companies by gainfully employing them. SMSSC aims to play a vital role in identifying technically skilled Ex-servicemen, upskilling them in accordance with internationally benchmarked standards and then offering them to Industry.