A nation’s growth is contingent upon a harmonious balance of economic, environmental, and social imperatives. A strong focus on promoting employability through skilling the youth, bettering the environment, and becoming the first country to mandate and quantify CSR activities, reflects India’s intent to keep community upliftment and environmental betterment at the heart of its development. Bosch is working towards contributing to the holistic growth of nation under four broad pillars: We Skill, We Care, We Share, and We Empower. While our ‘We Care’ initiatives aim to boost sustainability through smart projects such as the integrated smart parking solution at Bengaluru’s Lalbagh, we are also empowering the youth with our ‘We Skill’ programme.
Building a bridge between job readiness and job opportunity
India’s pressing concern is a widespread lack of skilled workforce, with less than one-tenth of the 12 million Indian youth entering the job market every year being formerly skilled. Additionally, domain skills are highly topical and they change with a shift in market trends and industry needs.
With adaptable industry and job-specific skills, BRIDGE (Bosch’s Response to India’s Development and Growth through Employability Enhancement) program focuses on imparting generic employability skills, especially among the less privileged and school dropouts. As part of our social engagement agenda, Bosch unlocks their potential by enabling job readiness.
“I’ve always seen my father work very hard at his humble stall in Nashik. My dream was to help him by reducing some of his financial burden, which is why i decided to change from a full-time to a part-time college and work simultaneously. But a lack of communication skills held me back from getting a job. I was introduced to BRIDGE program through a friend, and it changed my life. When I put on the jacket that was in the Bosch kit, it made me feel so proud, I felt like I was part of a big company. The mock interviews and activities transformed the shy girl into a confident one. The trainers at the BRIDGE centre also helped us to get jobs, in fact, they went out of their way to ensure that the girls get a day job. Today, I don’t just earn a livelihood, I have also earned my father’s respect,”. Maya Harkal, a computer operator and a former BRIDGE student.
BRIDGE came into existence in 2013 as a result of a careful need of both, the industry and potential employees. Through a network of 272 centres, the three-month program imparts life; communication; and personality development skills while simultaneously inculcating industry-specific knowledge. Along with a Bosch Learner Kit and a certificate from Bosch, the students also have the opportunity to undertake one week of Community Project and a month-long internship. Constant job placement support after program completion is also provided.
What distinguishes BRIDGE from other similar CSR initiatives is the immense scope of scalability. Our intent to cover a larger section across the nation can only come true when we have impactful centres in every city. The affordability of the per-beneficiary cost for running the centres is conducive for scaling up quickly and economically, which resulted in the addition of 72 new centres in just the last year. Further, we aim to add 120 more centres by the end of 2019.
The BRIDGE initiative has supported more than 20,000 unemployed youth in upskilling and in getting jobs across several industries.
Currently, two-third of India’s population is below the age of thirty-five, and the median age is expected to dip further. While on one hand, the presence of such a huge youth population elicits the need for more employment opportunities; it also translates into more people vying for the same profile. Bosch intends to create a high employability scenario by enabling today’s youth to become better fit for present and future job opportunities.
Head of Social Engagement
Imparting the right knowledge and accelerating the change
Bosch follows an inside-out approach when it comes to empowering society. The organization-wide enthusiasm to create a bigger impact must be supported by the right knowledge and information to create that ripple effect. Our social leadership training program imparts that knowledge via multiple workshops and on-ground training activities, such as the one recently held at FSL India, Kundapura, Mangalore.
The three-day residential training saw mass participation from Bosch India colleagues, wherein the volunteers gathered insights about the importance of the project,
acquired initiative-specific information, and learned about the various CSR projects and collaborations.
“While all of us have the desire to help others in need, this program gave us the confidence and clarity to own our responsibilities and lead social responsibility initiatives to achieve tangible outcomes with quality.” Anjaneya Murthi, Bosch employee.