Better Trainers – Better Training – Lasting Impact
RuralShores Skills Academy is a unique organization that specializes in creating value for the under-served rural and urban youth. We have a unique and holistic approach to our training which includes life skills as well as youth development
Youth development is a process of mental, physical, emotional and social growth to enable them to build successful career and lives. Life skills are the abilities that help build competence in young people as they face the realities of life and moulding capable adults to become effective leaders in their lives and the world.
RuralShores Skills Academy conducts specialized training for training delivery organizations and NGO’s looking to upgrade their trainers and thereafter provide courseware for students and also final assessment and certification for students.
In one of our projects, we conducted one such training in a remote location near Varanasi. There is a school run by an NGO in this remote location that holds free classes for youth in Maths, English, Science and Computers. The students are from the age group of 14 – 21 and come from nearby villages.
RuralShores Skills Academy is also a training delivery agency registered as a successful training partner of National Skills Development Corporation.
The NGO asked us to conduct a teacher training session, provide course curriculum in getting the students started towards employment through communicative English and basic knowledge of Computers and also assess their students.
Our Training Approach and Methodology
The training was for 4 days where teachers from the school coming from diverse backgrounds were taught our unique training methodology – G.E.T.S
Guide – Counselling the students to reveal and find their interests and passion
Educate – Through our process of training – for example, rhymes, group activities, assessments
Train – Practice makes perfect. Showing them how to do it then letting them do it.
Support – Encourage, encourage, encourage! Create an atmosphere of appreciation and support where students can learn and thrive.
The same methodology was used in training the teachers. The teachers went through rigorous 8 hour sessions for 4 days filled with mock training sessions and understanding the new course curriculum. They were first shown how to do it and then they would demonstrate their learning through teach back sessions.
At the end of the training, armed with the G.E.T.S methodology the teachers felt confident with the course curriculum and were raring to take their own sessions with students.
“Your methods of training that I learnt are now proving good for students!”
- English teacher
“I have learnt so much in these 4 days that I feel I can really connect and teach my students in a better manner”
- Computers teacher
“I am very happy with how the training went and I am sure training such as these are very much beneficial to our teaching staff.”
- Client Representative
We truly believe in the philosophy that Education is the most powerful tool that can be used to change the world!
DEVELOPING LIFE SKILLS – Skills Everyone Needs
Children and youth don’t naturally know how to make good choices especially when choices are many and increasing. In today’s dynamic world, having a method of developing life skills is an essential requirement to meet the challenges of everyday life. WHO defines life skills as “the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with demands and challenges of everyday life.”
Life skills include things like emotional, social and mental skills—such as self-awareness, decision-making, empathy, critical thinking, and coping with stress and emotions. To cope with the increasing pace and change of modern life, students need new life skills such as the ability to deal with pressure, stress and frustration. The key life skill is good decision-making. And it is not innate. It has to be learned. Life skills help children know what to do in everyday situations as well as prepare them to make good decisions as they grow from childhood to adulthood.
Our collaboration with NGOs
In one of our projects, we work with the victims of human trafficking involving children and women as young as 12 years old. Given their traumatic past, the physical and mental scars make it difficult for them to learn and educate themselves. Most of them want to commit suicide. So the first step in skilling these young women is to inculcate life skills in them. RuralShores Skills Academy provides Life Skills to help the survivors cope up with the adversities they faced, ways to heal themselves and move on with their lives. In keeping with their background and baggage, this tailor-made course for human trafficking survivors provide Life skills through teaching anger and conflict management, dealing with pressure and stress, healing, hard work and persistence, personal health, reasoning, values and so on. In order to move forward, it is important for these young women to leave the past behind them, empower themselves with a set of skills which will help them earn their livelihood and look forward towards a bright future. We train these survivors in necessary skills to make them employable and provide placements though our tie-ups with various organizations.As on date, we are engaging with a Foundation that provides us access to NGO locations where such young girls are being protected and developed. We develop our women trainers with our approach and methodology before they go into the NGO to impart training to the girls. This exposure is preparing us better and exposing our trainers to develop better understanding of possibilities that we all have to manage!
Our Personality Development Programme
- People-interaction Behaviour
- Emotions in difficult situations
- Creative and Critical Thinking
- Personal Finance
- Ability to communicate and collaborate
All these are part of essential skills for success and survival in the 21st century, both for active and employable individuals and for development of healthy societies. Life skills help improve your personality. They hold importance as they adequately equip the youth for the active role required of them in today’s fast-paced, complex, technologically-enabled and diverse society.
Youth development is a process of mental, physical, emotional and social growth to enable them to build successful career and lives. Life skills are the abilities that help build competence in young people as they face the realities of life and molding capable adults to become effective leaders in their lives and the world.
SKILL DEVELOPMENT LANDSCAPE OF INDIA
India is a young country, endowed with demographic dividend. Mission ‘Skill India’ towers as its top agenda today. Skills and knowledge are the engines of economic growth and social development for any country. Sitting atop a hill, set to command a third of world’s working age population by 2030, India is a country with mission. Lest the demographic dividend turns into demographic liability, skill training is of utmost importance to take advantage of this ready workforce. With constantly evolving technology space and dynamics in lifespan of existent skills, transformation of India’s skill landscape is imperative to take India onto the next pedestal of growth.
India adds 12 million people to its workforce every year. There are about 711 million people in India in the working age group of 15-59 years. This constitutes 62% of India’s population and majority of this requires new or additional skills. This offers a fertile ground for germination of new partnerships, government programmes, training institutions and delivery agents for enriching the skills ecosystem in India. Majority of 40% of population between 15-19 years of age, who have not received formal education, might already be in some form of unskilled employment because of economic necessity. There is a need to skill this population and give a formal recognition or certification to their prior skills. Since this is an economically active population, mobilizing students can be a challenge and hence, the focus has to be on short-term skill training programmes. Sector specific skills are important as they help with placement and aid students change or target new sector of employment.
Of the current workforce, only about 8-9% are engaged in the formal/organized sector. In India, only 5% of the workforce has marketable skills, as compared to 50-60% in other countries. This should give us an idea of the magnitude of the challenge in skilling India.
RuralShores Skills Academy aims to play a part in grappling with this challenge by creating a sustainable and skilled workforce. RuralShores Skills Academy offers a string of general and sector specific skill training courses with certified trainers and quality course curriculum. We have developed market-driven courses. We have placement tie-ups with organizations and we facilitate training and employment of the students. We also work with corporates for sourcing skilled staff and upskilling staff in remote locations. RuralShores Skills Academy skills, employs, empower and engage the youth of the country.
For a country like India aspiring to become a “knowledge economy”, it is important to focus on advancement of relevant skills. The skills that were relevant 20 years ago are obsolete in today’s digital world. Nearly half the jobs may be at risk of automation while an entirely new set of jobs requiring new skills maybe emerging. At RuralShores Skills Academy, we take care of all these aspects in the evolving skills landscape in the country.
India’s growth story might not seem as exciting as one expected it to be, but the sheer volume of its human potential and its burgeoning young working population in the changing work-space makes it an interesting watch. We better buckle up. The world is watching!
My name is Hemlata Pawar. I have completed 12th and I am currently pursuing graduation. I am from Joshipur village, situated approximately 6 Km from Budhni. I belong to a lower middle class family. There are 6 members in my family and my father is no more with us.
My family was going through a financial crisis and I was struggling to find a job. One day I was attending a job fair at Budhni where I came to know about RuralShores Skills Academy (RSA). After being counseled by RSA, I realized that my knowledge and skills are not enough to get a decent job.
So I joined BPO Foundation course at RSA Training Center in Budhni to learn the Basics of Computer, English, BPO and Interview preparation with the hope that my family would pay the fee. But my brother stopped me from continuing my classes in the middle of course training because we did not have enough money to pay for the course training and also the conveyance facility was not adequate. I, on the other hand, was keen to get skilled and find a good job. I was learning and doing very well in the course assessments. Seeing my learning progress, the teachers at training centre were very happy and supportive.
Noticing my absence for three consecutive days in the class, the RSA staff was concerned and visited my home. They found that my brother was not letting me continue with the training, so they spoke to my family and with the support of village ‘Sarpanch’ were able to convince them. Thus, with the help of family and village ‘Sarpanch’ support, I continued my training and completed the course. I got a job placement in RSBS call center successfully.
But again being a girl I encountered problem in reaching office in early morning at 6 ‘o’ clock from my village where there is no facility of conveyance/transportation. I got demotivated and started losing hope as my dream of doing a job and become self-dependent seemed out of reach. But as it is said that “God helps those who help themselves”! Aware of my aspiration to do something and build my career and life, Training Manager at RSA, Mr. Kuldeep Prajapati talked to the Village ‘Sarpanch’ and arranged for hiring a three-wheeler Auto to facilitate daily commutation to and from my office, bearing the cost on himself. However, later my brother started supporting me in my daily commutation to the office.
A month went by and I received my first salary. This was one of the ‘big’ days of my life when I realized how much my life has changed and I have grown from a unskilled rural girl to a skilled working woman. Now I am confident in my abilities to face interview and work anywhere in the country. Presently, I am supporting my family and they are proud of me. I am proud of myself!
Special thanks to RuralShores, Kuldeep Prajapati (Training Manager) and RSA Center team Budhni!
Foundational Training Batch 2016
RSA tied up with DLF Foundation (DLFF) to deliver quality and value in the case of a large, focused and ‘only girls’ college in Gurugram. RSA determined to ensure an appropriate set of girls will take out extra time and go through On-line courses from a few entities that provide for a large number of structured and self-study courses online.
Girls can go through these courses without any usage charges which are offered free by Online providers – except for their certification. So when they need a certification, then DLFF covers the cost for them. Last year we trained and certified over 300 girls in this manner.
This year the girls reaching out to us for the courses is much higher! There are about 7,000 girls in the college and we need to select and give opportunities to the girls who are typically in final year of college. Then we help them choose the courses that align with what they are studying in college and will make them better employable with online training.
The Online training covers videos, assessments, and reading material organized appropriately and in the right manner.
Delivering Government and Foundation’s Vision and Mission through RuralShores Skills Academy efforts
DLFF provides a clear direction and then funds the center for running the show. Ruralshores Skills Academy provides the trainers and managers for the center to drive the center and manage the right training by girls. Guiding them on learning English, so that they can learn and pick up from the online courses fast enough. Government had built the infrastructure and provided the girls college as the main resource center.
Together, the three organizations are making the impact possible!
Here are some statements and comments recorded from students about what they feel and what they study:
Tulsi- did a course in technical voice re-coding as she is doing her graduation in music only. She finds this course really informative and practical and believes that after completion of this she can get in to the same profession.
Sharmila- she pursued a course in programming from Microsoft. She is confident in writing codes and wants to go ahead with more courses in coding so that she can move in to software development.
Jyoti- completed a course in English communication and finds is extremely helpful as she feels confident and less hesitant while communicating in English.
These are a few examples how the college girls achieve what were only dreaming of. RSA has been giving directions and means to the girls so that they can not only move towards achieving their goals and but they must become what they want to in their prospective careers.
The Project was started when DLF Foundation agreed with Government Authority to start supporting and driving it in association with RuralShores Skills Academy Pvt Ltd. The project has been given the name of “Golden Jubilee eLearning Project”.
Sarita, Trainer from RSA: This is a joint effort of Haryana Government, DLF Foundation and RuralShores Skills Academy to empower girls coming from rural areas to the college. These girls are, many times, not even aware that such good career options exist. We help them to find the right path for their bright future by consulting and helping them.
Students who are from B.com, we suggest to them courses related to banking, E finance, Economics, and courses in market analysis etc. Students from Arts side can go into teaching administration and choose a course for their hobbies like music and arts as well. The girls who are not even familiar with the computers we need to help them by training how to use a computer and introducing the modern electronic way of learning.
We hope that it can create a major learning mechanism for all girls across India in the long run!
RSA is willing to work with Foundations that want to really skill the under-served youth.
CAREER IN DOMESTIC BPO – Training for Service Industry
Abhay Kumar has done his inter-final in 12th through UP board. He is a native of Baitalpur, UP. He is working as an ‘agent’ in RuralShores Business Services (RSBS) – a rural BPO at Baitalpur, UP.
Catch him during his office hours – dressed up in his office attire, coiffed hair and neat and clean appearance – it will be difficult for you to associate him with a rural set up. The training at RuralShores Skills Academy (RSA) helped him hone his soft skills and learn corporate etiquettes. This learning is reflected in his confidence, personality and good manners. He was very happy with the course curriculum and training. In his words, “it was 200% beneficial to him” and “the training gave him confidence to learn and grow”. It helped him come out of his hesitant shell and made him battle ready to face the world. Since then, he has never looked back.
Abhay already had clear goals towards working in the service industry. He wanted to work with RuralShores Business Services (RSBS) and he was aware of the fact that RSBS runs a BPO near his village.
Training Success at RSA
Abhay joined RSA and then could get placement in RSBS. In fact, his entire batch at RSA found a job in RSBS successfully with record 100% placements. He wants to work his way up within the BPO industry and rise through ranks and become a part of management. He found the atmosphere at RSA training center very friendly and preparative for service industry. He still remembers the trainers at RSA who he found to be very talented, accessible, communicative and helpful.
Career Planning and Growth
Planning his career in domestic BPO industry, Abhay says, “one of the most attractive things about BPO industry and most of the processes it runs is that they need only a basic 10+2 to enter the industry.” What they mainly seek among candidates is good communication skills and a willingness to learn. Most of the BPO companies hire candidates with basic qualifications and then train them. Many candidates move to KPOs (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) which are more interesting and pay more too. Queried about his own career growth in the domestic BPO industry, he reminisces, “I started as an agent which is the entry-level employee in a BPO unit. My first salary was Rs. 9000/- which has grown to Rs. 15000/-in two years. I am a top performer in my team. I am working my way towards getting promoted to team leader. I already have two years of experience and I am pursuing graduation alongside. Two more years of work experience in this process should make me eligible for applying to higher positions in the company. ”A potential employee can climb his way up from the post of Customer Care Executive to Team Leader to Assistant Manager to Manager.”
In a BPO unit, project manager is the highest level at which one is directly associated with processes in a company. Beyond that, the higher posts of Senior Manager, Centre Manager, Centre Head generally require a degree in MBA. It is important to take up training programmes that strengthen the skill set of an employee or acquire new skills. Additional skills and graduation degree also increase available career opportunities. Performance reviews are usually conducted every six months to gauge an employees’ progress. It is a way of evaluating an employee’s performance, skill set and the new job roles that can be assigned to him/her. When asked whether he plans to remain in BPO industry, he declares, “Yes, definitely. It is a very high growth industry. Given the vast cost-saving power of outsourcing and available potential in the country, the industry will continue to grow even through hard times like recession.”
It is an achievement and gratifying for RuralShores Skills Academy to have the opportunity and drive to hold the torch and lighten the pathway for students with potential to climb the heights of their dreams.
Who are RuralShores?
As a social enterprise, RuralShores, that started with 15 employees in 2009, they have grown in to an organisation of 3,800 strong across 18 locations, who work with the local communities to skill close to 14,000 people and counting.
They have clients across multiple industries and we started working with them in 2013, providing supporting services to 7 key accounts as well as providing services for Accenture internally.
Their mission is to Enskill – Employ – Empower – Engage, with the objective of creating sustainable employment for 1 Million rural youth across the 500 rural districts of India. Many of these young people will be able to support their seasonal family income with a steady monthly income, by up to an additional 50%, without having to migrate to the next big city.
The first thing that strikes you is the passion and commitment that the leadership team shows towards making this a success. We met with 6 of the people who make RuralShores great and each one of them spoke with conviction about the social enterprise that they have created, continue to grow and develop.
Their passion is replicated on the floor where we have over 400 people, across 7 processes, 4 delivery centres (soon to be 5) and servicing clients in F&A, Digital marketing, Order entry and management, Data management, Learning & Development and Mortgage services.
They also honour all our security requirements (they have fingerprint scanners for access) and we have worked with them to ensure data security and compliance.
The things that impressed me about RuralShores
They have worked with the local community to drive diversity in to the workforce, encouraging woman to come in shift periods that suit them.
All though we only have 20% diversity on our account, this is significantly higher than expected because of the local community constraints, such as families not wanting their daughters to be working or spending late hours in an office.
The RuralShores team have also done a great job of attracting and developing some key female leaders within the team which again encourages other women to join.
Added to this, they employ close to 10% specially-abled resources (31 speech and hearing challenged and 4 physically challenged) who compete with their able-bodied counterparts in exceeding their performance targets.
Their dream of inclusivity and diversity found its roots in the Bagepalli Center near Bangalore and RuralShores continues to drive these initiatives across all their centres.
They report 8% attrition but in the centre that I visited, it was closer to 2%.
Their “home grown” operating model supports building a sense of community and this ensures their attrition is low. They do see people leaving after 4-5 years but this is generally to gain more growth and development and can be natural migration to the larger cities.
Their confidence in presenting their journey, their deep content knowledge, their enthusiasm for the work is inspiring.
I personally could not enter the data they do consistently, 300 times a day – and in some instances, they are entering close to 30 fields in the space of 50 seconds and it is in a foreign language (the example I saw was Polish).
They have also invested in their leadership which means they are driving the right Operations behaviors.
Their attention to detail and ability to process complex data fast and accurately – meeting all their SLA’s every month, is impressively consistent.
With a learning curve of 12 weeks in the beginning, they have reduced their average handling time from 15 minutes per transaction to under 3 minutes with 96-100% accuracy in critical fields.
The teams were excited to show their control charts and despite the short period they have been in operation, the productivity they had driven though learning curve and process improvements.
They have also started seeding experience in to upcoming waves to make sure we get consistency in service for new processes/countries and provide year on year cost benefit to both us and our clients, achieving a 5% productivity release to date.
The things to bear in mind
If you have data entry services with limited to no voice, RuralShores should be considered.
The cost vs benefit equation on this one for me is a no brainer. You won’t always get experienced CA’s, C1 language skills or graduate level knowledge but for half of your cost, you will get unmatched stability and high quality output (and you get the feel-good factor of supporting a local social enterprise while doing it).
An example of this on my project is that despite a 300% spike in volumes, the team still managed to process 88% within the 15 minute required turn-around-time and maintained the accuracy SLA, which even our client commented was an incredible success story.
This is an English only service offering but they can do multi-country delivery.
We have worked with the RuralShores team to build capability for them capture transactions with similarly high accuracy and average handling time metrics for Poland including recognising Poland individual and place names. Based on this success, we are now exploring with them to take on all European, Middle East & China transactions.
Moving service to RuralShores does requires strong Transition leadership.
Strong Transition leadership, who understands the strengths and capabilities of RuralShores and works with them and the delivery teams, is instrumental in getting the right interlock. Because if the robust training model and performance expectations they have, it may take longer to mobilise and train which will need to be factored in to any planning.
You will need to ask your transition teams to work closely with RuralShores to ensure that the right work is sent to them in a structured way and that they are given enough time to reach the proficiency that they are comfortable with (they take tremendous pride in what they do and hate to fail)
Plan to visit, at least once.
It is hugely impactful for them to see the client and our leaders on the floor, especially during their recognition cycle. I also found it incredibly inspiring to see their performance and enthusiasm for the services they were providing.
This was one of the highlighted of my 2 week visit to India and if you ever get the opportunity I would say go! And if not, then definitely find an opportunity to work with them!
Heather Orton – Global Transition Lead, Accenture.
Student Life – Perspective of Impacting!
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
When I met Heena Kalasva at Bhiloda last week – I had a feeling deep within I was meeting someone who is an inspirational role model for the youth of today. At that moment I had not even spoken to her or even knew anything about her – all I knew was she was part of the “Matra-Puja” (Mother Worship) ceremony at our Bhiloda Center and was accompanied by her mother – whom she worshiped with deep devotion and gratitude. What stood out about Heena – was that she was attired in simple clothes – wore no finery to indicate she was participating in a puja and had a beaming smile on her face filled with pride that her mother was a part of the puja. Post the puja – I started my journey to know more about Heena and Suneel Vishwakarma the Training and Quality Lead at our Center joined me in my quest.
27 year old, Heena hails from Bhutwad village in Bhiloda of Sabarkantha district, Gujarat which has 535 families residing and has a population of 2559 (Census 2011). The average sex ratio of Bhutavad village is 978 which is higher than Gujarat state average of 919. The literacy rate of Bhutavad village is 73.54 % (male literacy rate at 89.17% and female literacy rate at 57.72 %)
Heena lives with her 49 year old home maker mother and 51 years old father who is a farner. Her father tills the land of a landowner and in return gets 60 Kgs of wheat per year. Heena could not afford to pursue her education post her 12th standard. But she is a fighter and she started working as a labourer in a farm and sold milk in her village and managed to support her family for about 6 months, to tide over the financial crisis at home.
She then came to the doorstep of RuralShores (www.ruralshores.com) with the intention to join us but she failed at the interview stage. She then approached RuralShores Skills Academy to help her overcome her lack of computer skills and language proficiency. Suneel noticing the fire of determination in Heena’s eyes and her desperation for success – offered her extended support during her training – which resulted in Heena clearing the selection process and joined RuralShores 2.5 years ago.
Heena did not spend the first 6 months of her earning (~ Rs 40000) and used this savings to convert her home from a “kuccha” one to a “pakka” one. She went on to equip her home with basic needs – and acquired a LPG connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana scheme. She then bought a Television, vessels for cooking and a large aluminium container to store wheat. During this entire journey, the self confidence, humility and grace she displayed was mind blowing. She walks the distance of about 2 Kms – to and fro – from home to her workplace – be it sunshine or hailstorm, day-shift or after-noon shift. She does a split shift – 8am to 1pm and from 5pm to 9pm – which is critical for our Center’s success and also helps Heena to use the afternoon hours for her household chores.
Impacting of Success
When I visited her home – she took me around her garden with pride and showed me the lemon tree that had borne fruit, the neem tree that had grown big and the “turai” vegetable that she has grown. She introduced me to her father – who was immensely proud of Heena and as he spoke fondly about his daughter’s accomplishments – tears welled up in his eyes. Heena then took us and showed us her buffalo – the only life-stock they possessed.
I credit Suneel completely for spotting Heena’s potential and helping her diligently to fulfil her dreams by fuelling her ambition to succeed by developing her inherent competencies. People like Suneel – are the Dronacharyas of today who understand the need and ways to develop the rural landscape of India. His selfless spirit to give all he has for high potential individuals like Heena – demonstrates that human kinship is all about rising from ashes together – confidently and with an intense sense of determination to succeed.
I had my biggest learning when I walked the 750 metres distance from the motor able road to Heena’s home along with with my team. I was tracing the steps of a woman who in every sense of the word was a winner. I was walking along with a Guru who knew his success was defined by making others succeed. Heena and Suneel are individuals who are the true creators of “Incredible India”. I am blessed to have them as part of our RuralShores team. They are the lamps that shine like the sun – bringing light to darkness.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs
Impacting Rural Youth positively
RuralShores Skills Academy was setup to ensure rural youth got prepared for BPOs being setup in rural spots. We realized that we couldn’t begin with domain skills but needed to strengthen the communication, confidence, ability to read in English and also write/type in English while making sense of English sentences.
The approach we started using was to get the students to participate fully. For English, we started using short practical sentences in addition to learning a few rhymes.
Since the BPOs are in village, the students learning and working in these are performing service sector jobs close to their homes. A lot of students start feeling deeply satisfied and also confident in getting such a training leading to an appropriate job nearby. A student said “The way I interact and talk with people has changed a lot. I am able to express myself in a clear way now. My whole life situation has undergone a positive change.” Something similar is stated by all students across all centers.
We have 18 BPOs with training at each of these locations. In last 5 years, we have trained over 25,000 people of which about 15,000 youth are for the rural BPO. Ever since 2013, we are also partners with NSDC and hence train youth in BPO and also Retail domains.
We hope to grow and impact many more youth from rural areas!