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Sweden to create one million jobs for Maharashtra women

Monday, February 19, 2018
By Raju Vernekar

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce India (SCCI) and Maharashtra State Skill Development Society (MSSDS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for  “Kraftsamla”, a pilot skill development project for women, on the sidelines of “Magnetic Maharashtra Convergence 2018” that was held at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), yesterday.

Under the project, jointly launched by the Consulate General of Sweden, women from all walks of life, especially the underprivileged ones, will be trained and employed in Swedish companies by creating nearly a million jobs in the years to come.

Some Swedish companies are operating in Maharashtra since 1960 and over the years, Pune has emerged as a manufacturing hub. The companies are primarily in the sector of engineering. Some of the companies include Alfa Laval, Atlas Copco, Ericsson, IKEA, SKF, Delaval, Sandvik and Tieto. Besides, there are NGOs working within the area of education and skilling.

The MoU was signed by Skills Development secretary, Aseem Gupta on behalf of the state government and SCCI General Manager, Sara Larsson in presence of Maharashtra Minister for Labour and employment, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Sambhaji Patil-Nilangekar and Counsel General of Sweden, Ulrica Sundberg. The representatives of the state government, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), MSSDS and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation were also present.

On the occasion, Patil-Nilangekar said, “We are working in different sectors in terms of skill development and the state has maximum number of women entrepreneurs who need encouragement. If women are encouraged, a gap between the women wanting work and the companies needing workforce could be filled in. As such, the MoU with the SCCI is the right step.”

The ‘Kraftsamla’ seeks to bring together Swedish companies to join hands to promote gender equality and empower women. The women in the workforce has the potential to increase the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the country by 60 per cent (approximately 7 billion USD).

Under ‘Kraftsamla’, 110 women will be trained for posts such as forklift drivers, warehouse supervisors, assembly operators and other posts. The training will include learning English, digital literacy and team work, as well as a paid internship program. The SCCI plans to team up with the UNDP and Maharashtra Government to train one million women.

On the occasion, the Consul General of Sweden, Ulrika Sundberg said, “Today, only 27 per cent of educated women in India are working, the percentage which was less than one fourth of the capacity trained. This means half the population is not represented in the political or economic life. Gender equality is one of the cornerstones of the Swedish society. Now, there is a geared push by Swedish companies towards an improved gender ratio in India. Companies that are a part of ‘Kraftsamla’ will look after skill development and women empowerment by providing then training and employment opportunities through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and mentoring programs.”

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