India’s second luxury car maker BMW India, as part of it’s 11th year anniversary of its manufacturing plant in Chennai, on Thursday, unveiled a skilling initiative termed “Skill Next” across engineering colleges and other technical institutes like ITIs across the country under which it hopes to train “tens of thousands of students over the next few years”.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar launched the initiative of BMW, ‘Skill Next,’ at the the car major’s plant here with the students of College of Engineering, Guindy.
The German car-maker will provide 365 BMW engines and transmission units to leading engineering and technical institutions across the country. The manufacturer will deliver the engines and transmission units to campuses by the year-end.
A ‘Train the trainer’ module has also been devised for these institutes.
Speaking at the function, Mr. Tendulkar, BMW’s brand ambassador, reiterated the importance of practical training and hoped that the initiative would unearth quality automobile engineers. “It is a great opportunity for aspiring engineers and technicians in the country. It is one thing to have theoretical knowledge and another to practically work on them. I could have never played cricket without being hands-on with the game,” Mr. Tendulkar said.
Explaining the rationale for the CSR initiative, under which the company has also registered a foundation, Vikram Pawah, the president of BMW Group India said, “The next phase of growth in luxury car market will come from the small towns. And that means we need tens of hundreds of trained manpower in those markets. I hope the Skill Next will go a big way in meeting those requirements.”
T.V. Geetha, Dean, College of Engineering, Anna University, which is the first college to start the programme, said: “Automobile technology is changing rapidly and experiential learning plays a very important role.”
Pawah further said that around 100 engineering colleges and over 60 industrial training institutes have already signed up for the programme, apart from the Anna University.
“Going by the initial response, I am confident that we will be able to train tens of thousands students,” Pawah said.
Skill Next will see the company, which is on a strong revival path after years of being down in the dumps in the volume sweep stake, with a 25 percent spike in volumes in 2017 at 9,800 units, delivering as many as 365 BMW engines and transmissions to engineering colleges across the states on a first come first served basis.
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