Indian steel makers on young talent hunt

March 3rd, 2008 - 11:01 am ICT by admin  

By Soudhriti Bhabani
Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), March 3 (IANS) India’s steel industry has started a big headhunt for skilled workers and professionals to increase production and meet the mounting demand for steel to fuel the country’s growth. “We have taken a big challenge to attract young professionals to join the steel industry,” Tata Steel chief operating officer (COO) H.M. Nerurkar said at the just-concluded international conference on steel, Steelrise 2008, held here.

“About 2,000-2,500 people are required per million tonnes of steel.”

The three-day conclave of policymakers and industry leaders set a target to expand annual steel production to 180 million tonnes by 2020, which means ensuring 10-12 percent annual growth of capacity over the next few years.

It would require a large number of skilled workers and professionals and an investment of over $100 billion to build a steel hub spanning the four states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal.

Nerurkar said the metallurgy and mechanical engineering courses were not properly managed in many technical institutes.

“We are now trying to make all these courses more attractive so that it would help us retain talents for the steel sector in the days to come,” he said.

In a session chaired by Amit Chatterjee, adviser to Tata Steel managing director B. Muthuraman, it was also discussed how best career opportunities in the steel industry could be presented before the youth when jobs in various non-manufacturing sectors were luring students.

During the discussion, the panellists - coming from Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), various management institutes and other engineering colleges - agreed that steel and other manufacturing industries had not made conscious efforts to attract young professionals.

“But now we would take corrective action to address this problem,” Nerurkar said, adding that at the same time the industry also needs to focus on safety, environment and socio-economic issues.

The possibilities of the steel industry itself setting up training institutes and facilities to develop its own human resources were also discussed at length in the seminar.

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