Apparel Made Ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMHSSC) envisions to enable a world-class workforce for apparel industry with an ecosystem for skill development and enhance employability of the large number of Indian human resource. AMHSSC has certified around 18 lac people so far and in the next year (FY-2023) will focus on training for higher-skilled job roles, develops qualifications for ‘Bespoke Tailor’ and ‘Fashion Consultant’ for providing job opportunities. 

Dr Roopak Vashistha, CEO, AMHSSC talks about focus area of the AMHSSC in FY2023 and understanding the opportunities for youth in Apparel, Made-Ups and Home Furnishing Sector. Excerpts here: 

  • As the CEO of AMHSSC, what are your plans for the next year in terms of training and employment opportunities? 

We have concentrated a lot on the base line Job roles and have got appx 18 lac persons certified. We are now concentrating more on the youth, which are relatively more educated and belong to urban sector for higher Job roles. We are planning to develop Qualifications for the Job role ‘Bespoke Tailor’ in the near future. While there is ample demand of normal tailors in the country, there is a great demand of elite class of the society. We are planning to skill adequate tailors to cater to this class. In addition to this, we find many employees in Malls or Apparel shops selling garments. However, most of them are general sales personnel and don’t possess basic knowledge of garments and Apparel industry. We are developing Job role of ‘Fashion Consultants’ to cater to this demand. Youth, after completing 12th or Graduation, can attend to this course and become a Fashion Consultant. There are thousands of jobs waiting for this section.

  • Do you think there is a gap between academia and industry? How can this be bridged in the next FY 2023?

Kindly note that when the Govt of India realised that there was a gap between Industry and Academia, Sector Skill Councils were created. There is a healthy mix of representatives from Industry and Academia in the Board of Directors of each SSC. These representatives discuss and provide ready solutions to any skilling issue that gets raised. There is also a regular interaction of experts of SSC with Academic institutions and advice of such institutions is always taken before deciding any key issue related to development of Qualifications or Curriculum.

  • Can you please share some skilling trends that you have observed emerging specifically in India?

India has vast population. Earlier we used to feel bad of our soaring population but these days this very population is being seen as a boon. Earlier, we used to skill youngsters and many of them used to go abroad but the destination used to be mostly Gulf countries and that too in the blue collared jobs. In western world only white collared Jobs used to be filled by Indians. However, the trend is changing. The western world has started aging and is finding it difficult to maintain their general services. That’s why they are looking at countries, like India, to fill that gap. In fact, our Hon’ble Prime Minister had envisaged this in 2014 itself when Skill India mission was started. He had then envisaged India to become Skill Capital of the world and that is actually happening now.

  • Can you highlight some key courses or job roles offered by AMHSSC that are currently in high demand, or that are expected to see an increase in demand for skilled and certified young people over the next few years?

‘Sewing Machine Operators’ are in great demand in India. In fact in any garment factory 60-70% of the workforce consists of Sewing Machine Operators. Since inception in Dec, 2013, AMH SSC has certified more than 12 lac Sewing Machine Operators. The demand of this Job role keeps increasing day by day. We feel that in coming 10 years, this requirement will keep increasing. At the moment we don’t see technology replacing manual stitching process. In addition to this, Job role of ‘Self Employed Tailor’ is quite popular, especially amongst women. Lacs of women get skilled in this Job role and start their own tailoring shops.

  • Many young people are interested in starting their own ventures rather than doing a traditional job. Do the skill training programs offered by AMHSSC prepare them to be ready for the world of business?

Yes please. Most of the youngsters these days are interested in start- ups, whether big or small. Very few of them are interested in jobs. The curriculum of each job role contains elements of digital literacy, Soft skills and entrepreneurship. For rural youth there are a few job roles, like ‘Self Employed Tailor’, ‘Hand Embroiderer’, ‘Press man’ etc. Post getting skilled in these job roles, these youngsters or even an elderly person, can start his own business. From the title, the job role seems something inferior but these days such self-employed tailors, who often do alterations, earn ten times better than their educated counterparts.

For urbanised youth, we have Job roles, like ‘Asst Fashion Designer’, ‘Compliance Auditor’, ‘Boutique Manager’ etc. Post getting skilled in these job roles youth belonging to urban sector, can start their own boutiques or business. 

  • Can you provide information on the significance of skill development for women’s empowerment and inclusion in today’s world?

If we are able to really empower women in the country, we shall not only be achieving the National goals but would immensely improve upon the social and financial condition of the masses. In Apparel sector more than 96% of the beneficiaries were women and this seems to be a true example of women empowerment.