Sector V biggies are joining hands with the government and educational institutions to set up finishing schools for a steady supply of skilled workers.
While Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has teamed up with the state government's nodal IT agency Webel for an academy, Acclaris Business Solutions has signed up with the University of Burdwan to churn out manpower for the BPO industry.
"We have been stressing on the need for finishing schools for some time. It is a welcome sign that such academies are coming up, but we need more. Even the Centre has earmarked Rs 33 crore in the budget for manpower development," said state IT minister Debesh Das.
According to reports, employability percentage in technical colleges in the state is only around 50 per cent. Ten to 15 per cent of the general college graduates are suitable for employment in offshore IT and BPO industry. The number of engineering graduates in Bengal is lower than in other states. But the IT industry in the state is growing at over 42 per cent annually — higher than the national average of 30 per cent annually.
The curriculum is designed for the six-month programme with Webel. The course has been designed to upgrade technology and programming skills, along with communication and presentation skills, said a TCS spokesperson.
Webel Finishing School started in November. The first batch of students is ready for recruitment. TCS has already been to the campus and assessed the candidates.
"The candidates are required to clear our recruitment process to be eligible to work in the company," added the TCS spokesperson.
Enthused with the response, the government is planning to open more branches of Webel Finishing School across the state.
"We are trying to involve companies like Microsoft, Intel and IBM in our training initiatives," said minister Das, adding that plans have been finalised for centres in Siliguri and Durgapur.
Acclaris Business Solutions, the wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Acclaris Inc, and the University of Burdwan are also drawing up plans for their BPO academy.
"We will impart both hard and soft skills to the students," said Kalyan Kar, managing director, Acclaris Business Solutions.
"There is soon going to be a flood of finishing schools. Candidates will have to be careful in selecting institutions and courses," said Bikram Dasgupta of Globsyn, who brought the concept of a finishing school to the city.