Textile mill workers continue higher education, get job placement

KPR Mill provides in-house facility to pursue education and find jobs

For 22 young women, who are all workers at a textile mill in Coimbatore, there is new-found hope as they will soon start a fresh career at insurance and mobile phone manufacturing companies.

The women, employed at KPR Mill, had pursued school and college education for the last few years at the in-house education facility even as they worked at the mill and its garment units.

Placement camps

This year, the mill organised placement camps and 22 candidates, who have completed graduation or post-graduation courses, were placed at two companies – Tata Electronics (14 candidates) and Ensuranze (eight candidates).

Preetha from Karur, who worked at KPR’s garment unit at Arasur here, had to find employment when she was studying in Class X to support her family.

“When I learnt that KPR Mill helped its workers to continue studies, I joined the mill’s garment unit in the checking department. I continued to study Class X at the open school conducted by the mill. After finishing Plus Two, I joined B.Com (CA) at the education facility in the unit. I used to work eight hours at the garment unit and attend classes for two hours every day. On Sundays, I had classes from morning to evening,” she says. About a couple of months ago, the management informed the students about placement opportunities and encouraged the students to develop their soft skills. Last week, Preetha took a written test and was selected by Tata Electronics.

“I have work experience in textiles. Now, I will learn about mobile phones and develop my skills in that area,” said Preetha, who started Tata Electronics’ training programme here on Friday.

Similarly, Pavithra from Vellore will complete MBA this year through the open university education provided by the mill to its workers. An employee of the mill for the last eight years, she attended the campus placement organised by the mill last month and was selected by Ensuranze. She is now attending a soft skill training organised by the mill for 53 workers who are completing under-graduate or post graduation programmes this year.

K. Somasundaram, Vice President of KPR Mill, told The Hindu that four more companies were expected to select candidates from the mill in the next few days.

3000 workers studying

Having started the education programme for five to 10 workers in 1998, the mill now has 3,000 of its 22,000 workers studying school or higher education courses. Almost 40 % of the workers are from other States and last year, the mill launched education courses for them too. “Our Chairman has asked us to target campus placement for 1,000 workers a year in different sectors. Hence, we have launched training programmes for workers who are in the final year courses. As many as 53 workers are undergoing a 45-day soft skill training. With this, the workers will get into skilled jobs in the corporate sector and will have a new career,” he said.

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