Darjeeling: Darjeeling is all set to get a Skill Development Centre, thanks to the state government, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
The Skill Development Centre will be housed at the present Youth Hostel and will become operational from first week of July.
It had all started with the Hill Business Summit in March this year. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in her keynote address in the summit, had stressed on the need for skill development facilities in the Hills.
Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII, had stated while addressing the summit that CII would stress upon three aspects- skill development, resolving the drinking water crisis in the Hills and a road map on the development of Mongpu.
Immediately after the summit, work had started on starting a permanent Skill Development Centre in Darjeeling. The present Youth Hostel that is under the GTA, was earmarked to house the centre.
Later, during an administrative meeting of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts in Kalimpong on May 30, the Chief Minister wanted to know about the progress relating to skill development.
Laxmi Limbu Kaushal, CII head, North Bengal and Sikkim, briefed the Chief Minister on the Skill Development Centre.
"The Centre will start functioning from the first week of July this year," stated Kaushal. CII teams from Delhi and Kolkata had visited Darjeeling for setting up the centre.
Surveys were conducted along with mappings. Meetings were also held with GTA top brass. Finally, three sectors were identified.
"Training will be imparted in Hospitality, Health Care and Beautician sectors," added the CII chief.
Around 650 youths will be benefitted each year from the trainings, to be conducted throughout the year in batches. Placements will also be offered to around 80% of the trainees.
The first batch with 90 trainees (30 each in the three categories) will commence from the first week of July. The course will continue for 3 months.
Class 10 dropouts and pass youths are being targeted for the training. The trainees are being selected by CII in consultation with the GTA, based on strict interview and counselling.
Residential facilities will also be provided from the next batch. "The Youth Hostel has been handed over by the GTA to CII for the Skill Development Centre," stated Suraj Sharma, Liaison Officer, GTA.