Workers’ skills upgrade needed to address India’s massive housing shortage
 
Feb 14, 2019
Category:

• Habitat for Humanity through Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter’s roundtable and report launch urges housing sector leaders to work together to improve India’s skills development landscape.

• TCIS offers financial and technical support, knowledge of low-income housing issues and access to global best practices to organizations and companies that are working to help address India’s housing issues.

Chennai, February 14, 2019 – Global housing non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity, via its Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, is on a mission to equip masons and construction workers with technical knowledge and skills to build more durable, disaster-resilient housing with the help of India’s biggest organizations in the housing sector.

Rajan Samuel, Managing Director of Habitat for Humanity India said, “With an affordable housing shortfall affecting nearly 441 million people in India, the production and supply of affordable housing suited to low income groups requires rapid scaling. The round table discussion will bring together like-minded stakeholders who are open to developing collaborations and partnerships which will synergize Habitat’s efforts towards decent housing,” he added.

In partnership with the Builders’ Association of India, the Terwilliger Center’s roundtable and report launch last February 12 aims to shed light on homeowner-driven challenges in housing construction practices and its impact on labour practices. The event brings together experts from Indian organizations that play an active role in supporting initiatives that can build manpower capacity in the sector.

Anand Kumar Singh, CEO of Construction Skill Development Council of India and guest speaker said, “In a large and unorganized construction sector, enhancing workers’ skills lead to a clear pathway to progress, enabling a better and skilled nation. The CSDCI is happy to have Habitat for Humanity joining hands with us to make positive change in the skills development landscape of the country.”

Terwilliger Center’s report on “Construction practices and skill gaps among construction labour” was borne out of a four-month research covering low-income communities in Cuddalore, Kanchipurum and Chengalpalet districts in India. Around 90 key interviews and focus group discussions from various stakeholders in the housing value chain, including masons, contractors, engineers, architects, in addition to policy review and analysis were featured in the report.

Findings show that most construction workers acquire skills through ‘on the job’ learning, and there is still stigma in admitting gaps in knowledge and need for proper training. By understanding existing practices and challenges, organizations can develop new approaches to skill development in the construction industry, such as the facilitation of partnerships with educational organizations and training providers to develop products targeted at masons and contractors, with special focus on those that cater to low-income housing construction and repair sectors.

Research results are in line with Terwilliger Center’s program objectives to assist organizations across the construction and adjoined industries through a market system approach that aims to tackle constraints in housing construction in order to build resilience.

Organizations interested in joining the program can find out more and may submit an expression of interest and company profile to TCIS-India@habitat.org on or before February 28, 2019. The opportunity to apply is open to organizations across construction industry, including material and equipment manufacturers, construction companies, associations, agencies, training institutes and NGOs. Participating companies will be offered financial and technical support, knowledge of low-income housing issues and access to global best practices.

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AARON JOSEPH G. ASPI
Senior Specialist, Media Relations and Disaster Communications, Asia-Pacific, Habitat for Humanity International
3rd Floor, 111 Paseo Condo Building Tower 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St., Makati City 1229, Philippines
Office: +63 (2) 553 4455 ext. 4269 | Fax: +632 553 2233
aaspi@habitat.org

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