ILPA - Indian Leather Products Association

ILPA Training School

“Another socially and economically relevant project in manpower training activities of ILPA has been in the ILPA Training School for Craftsmen, set up by the West Bengal Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBIIDC). The Commerce and Industries Department, Government of West Bengal, was the nodal body for this project. The School has successfully trained considerable number of craftsmen in the last few years of its operation, who have been successfully inducted by the leather goods industry.”

Freya-IIDF has been conducting Design & Pattern-making courses for Leather Goods since 2000. At present it is conducting a short term course for a batch of students. The main focus is to teach the process of pattern-making and cardboard prototypes. The course also provides an introduction to the leather glossary, imparts technical knowledge with regard to the manufacturing process, teaches preparation of specification sheets and costing of products. The course is popular with persons wanting to join the industry and those who want to upgrade their skills in pattern-making.

Current & Future Trends of the Leather Goods Industry

The leather industry has undergone a dramatic change - from being suppliers of raw materials, to off-shore fabricators and now to being exporters of value added finished products.

The Government realizing the potential of this industry has undertaken policy initiatives to enhance performance and promote growth. There has been an increased emphasis on planned development aimed at optimum utilization of materials and resources to maximize returns.

Leather goods production is shifting from developed nations, and outsourcing and partnerships are common to meet supply requirements. India with its huge workforce is emerging as a favoured destination and is being cited as an alternative production source. The domestic markets too have grown considerably and have become more fashion oriented with exacting standards of quality resulting in several brands emerging.

The resultant growth in this sector is leading to an increased demand for professionals with both creative and technical skills. To sustain this growth the pool of trained workers has to be increased.

Special Requirements for the Leather Goods Industry

Challenges are many in the international market and include quality, delivery and capacity.

Induction of modern machinery requires specialized workers with improved productivity. Productivity is the ratio of input to output, and trained manpower would help reduce input for the same output, thereby increasing productivity.

The main goal of manpower training is to increase the average skill level of the labour force and provide sufficient number of workers. With growing demand for improved quality, stiff competition from other Asian nations like Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, and the current economic climate of liberalization and rapid technological progress, it is important to rethink strategies to face the challenges of competition.

Human Resource development is an integral part of company policy. Continuous training and retraining is required with specialists to operate different machines. This leads to reduced inefficiencies, increase in productivity, minimizing wastage and better quality.

The workforce is the greatest asset of an organization and companies that continuously develop human resources stand a better chance in this competitive era and will be more profitable.

Although the primary objective of training is to provide skilled workforce to the organization, bridging the gap between skill requirement and skill availability also fulfills other developmental objectives. At an individual level it helps the employee achieve personal goals by enhancing his business prospects and at a societal level it helps skill development of the unemployed youth, which would lead to increased economic opportunities.