Plant has already absorbed nearly a quarter of students from JIM’s first batch

The car-manufacturing plant owned by Suzuki Motor Gujarat Pvt Ltd at Hansalpur has absorbed 24 per cent of the first batch of 254 students from the country’s only Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM) at Mehsana in north Gujarat. The plant in Gujarat will require 4,000 more employees as it looks to expand at the same location in Ahmedabad district by commissioning two more assembly lines by early 2020.

Born out of an agreement between the governments of Japan and India to create a pool of 30,000 skilled manpower for the manufacturing sector in India, the JIM Mehsana was set up by Maruti Suzuki at the AS Patel (Pvt) ITI (Industrial Training Institute) at Ganpat University in Gujarat. A “certificate ceremony for the first batch of JIM was organised on Wednesday where the students who joined the course after passing their 10th standard examination were awarded with “Certificate of Course Completion” for skills in Japanese Manufacturing and Processes.

“Blessed by the Prime Ministers of India and Japan, JIM of Mehsana is a step to equip youngsters in Gujarat with skills that are directly connected with the growing manufacturing industry. My young friends, you are privileged to be the first batch of students a prestigious initiative to two Prime Ministers. You are the pride of this initiative and have the responsibility to fulfill the expectations of the two Prime Ministers for Skilled India,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, MD & CEO of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd who was present along with Ryoji Noda, Consul-General of Japan in Mumbai, at the event.

Of the 254 students from the first batch, 205 have already been placed in different automotive firms in the state. These students have been offered monthly pay-packages that range between Rs 10,000-13,000. Of 205 placed so far, 61 has been absorbed by Suzuki Motor Gujarat Pvt Ltd at Hansalpur which has an employee workforce of 2,000 at the first assembly line that is running almost full capacity at 2.5 lakh units per annum. The others have been absorbed in auto-ancillaries like Motherson Automotive Technologies & Engineering (Sanand), Brakes India Ltd (Jhagadiya), Nanda Automobiles (Gandhinagar) and Starline Cars (Mehsana). “About 60 percent of the batch have either been absorbed by us or our affiliates or business partners. We will be completing 100 percent placement of the first batch by the end of this month,” Ayukawa added.

The institute is a model ITI offering technical, NCVT approved training in eight trades related to automobile manufacturing. These skill programmes include fitter, electrician, welder, mechanical diesel, mechanic motor vehicle, mechanic auto body repair, painting, and driver cum mechanic. Talking about the hiring needs of Maruti Suzuki, Ayukawa said, “The Hansalpur factory currently has one (assembly) line and we employ about 2,000 people. We will be starting the second line by the end of the year and we are planning a third plant which will be coming up by early 2020. We will need 4,000 people more.”

The commissioning of the third plant will take the present car manufacturing capacity at Hansalpur in Gujarat from 2.5 lakh to 7.5 lakh per annum. “In order to sustain the volumes in the automobile industry, we need a lot of young people,” he added.

According to Ajay K Tomer, Executive Director (Corporate Planning), the company was considering to set up a second JIM in Gujarat and another one in North Gujarat. “These are still at a planning stage,” Tomer added.

Maruti already has a market share of over 50 percent of domestic passenger vehicle segment and will be initiating the process to study ways to further expand production capacity beyond 22.5 lakh units per annum after 2020.

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