GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF), the CSR arm of GMR Group, has launched an online skill-based training course for young people at the GMRVF Hyderabad Centre. The course is aimed at enhancing the employability of school/college dropout youth during the lockdown. Since the pandemic has led to the shutdown of educational institutions and training centres across the nation, GMRVF introduced customised online training classes, which can be accessed by the candidates from their homes. 

The centre has adapted all available courses (except driving) into a ‘blended learning method’. This approach combines online educational literature and opportunities for virtual interaction along with physical training (to be conducted once the centre opens as per government guidelines). The course is also beneficial as it offers students some elements of control over their time, place, path, or pace.

GMRVCEL (GMR Varalakshmi Centre for Empowerment and Livelihoods–Hyderabad) at Shamshabad is a skill development centre supported under the CSR of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited, which has been offering several skill-based training facilities to unemployed youth from across the state since 2008.

For the current training module, the candidates who are selected are being given online training classes in their respective line of subjects. They are taught selected job role content, soft skills and spoken English, and will also be evaluated through online assessments during these sessions. Once the centre operations recommence, practical sessions will be imparted to these candidates. Right now, candidates must have a smartphone with internet connection to participate in the classes. GMRVF is selecting the candidates who have access to both of them. In some cases, GMRVF is also supporting the candidates with data plans, on a per-need basis.

The company spokesperson informs CauseBecause that candidates interested in training need to submit government-issued identity proofs and educational qualification certificates. After a phone interview, meritorious candidates and those from socio-economically vulnerable backgrounds are shortlisted for the training. This training is being provided free of cost.

A minimum of 80 per cent online attendance is required for the candidates to be eligible for practical training, post completion of the online course. To assess the learning of the candidates, GMRVF is conducting weekly online tests. A link of the test material is sent to the candidates, which they need to answer and send back for evaluation.

The courses/jobs under blended learning methods include these: drywall and false ceiling technician, excavator operator, welding technician, refrigeration and air conditioning technician, automobiles and two wheeler repairing, solar technician, electrical house wiring, hotel management (F&B), computers – MS Office & DTP (only for women), and tailoring. All school and college dropout youth are eligible to join these courses.

Prior to the lockdown, the Hyderabad centre was running 10 different courses with about 200 trainees on campus at any given time. Till now, GMRVF at Hyderabad has trained over 9,500 youth with a 90 per cent placement record.