Philips Innovation Campus (PIC) and Smile Foundation NGO on Monday announced a long term partnership to reach out to the underprivileged sections of society to skill and facilitate employment.
Aligning the partnership with the government of India’s Skill India programme, both the partners have embarked on three programmes: Empowering Women, Skilling engineering students and Skill acquisition for support staff.
“Through the Skill India campaign, we would like to touch lives of more people by creating platforms for skilling themselves and getting employable,” said PIC chief executive M.R. Srinivas.
Under the Empowering Women programme, more than 250 women will be trained annually from urban slums at Smile Twin e-Learning Program (STeP) centres in Bengaluru and Delhi in basic finance, retail management, communication and other necessary skills.
“Smile saw an opportunity in the retail boom in India in 2006 and started STeP. The training has enabled several women to find jobs in F&B outlets like Pizza Hut, Coffee Day and Dominoes and Pantaloons, Westside, PVR, Big Bazaar and others,” said Vikram Singh Verma, COO, Smile Foundation.
Women centric STeP targets prospective candidates in the age group of 18-25 who dropped out of school, junior college and sometimes even graduates without the requisite skills needed for employment.
“An entrance exam is conducted to assess the candidates abilities and at what level they are to ascertain their training needs,” said Verma.
He added that nearly 20,000 women were trained since the STeP programme was started, employing about 16,000 with an average monthly salary of Rs.12,000.
PIC employees will visit engineering colleges on a voluntary basis under the Skilling engineering students programme to impart knowledge on big data analytics, digital healthcare and technical training with an aim to bridge the industry – academia employability gap.
And in the Skill acquisition for support staff programme, PIC support staff at its facilities will receive soft skills training along with additional skills to enable them to earn extra income.
PIC, manned by 3,000 employees in Bengaluru, develops innovative products and solutions at a global level while Smile Foundation founded in 2002 works with the underprivileged communities for their upliftment with grassroots level initiatives.