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The provincial level technical convention of Don Bosco Tech India, Bangalore province began on 19th June, 2009 at Don Bosco Provincial House, Bangalore at 9.00 am. Nearly 40 participants from Karnataka and Kerala representing the Skill Training Institutions gathered for this convention which has the theme: Skill Development: Opportunities and Challenges. The convention was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by chief guests present. Fr. Joseph Elavanal, Executive Director of BREADS welcomed the participants and wished that this convention provides an opportunity for all to have open minded sharing as well as insightful discovery.

In his inaugural address, Fr. K O Thomas, the Vice Provincial, brought the attention of the participants to the perspective of the Salesian Congregation with regard to skill training.  He appreciated the way in which the Don Bosco Tech India Network is making an impact in the country in the field of skill training. Through our technical institutions we should not only focus on quality skill training but also evolve models for replication with emphasis on the whole person. Fr. Mathew Valrakote, the Rector and Secretary to the Province of Bangalore, expressed his happiness in being part of this convention and wished it well that this paves way for greater involvement and impact for the youth.

The keynote address given by Mr. KK Davis, vice president (HR) Oracle, was very apt and thought provoking. He highlighted the present challenges and opportunities of Indian economy and labor market, the demand of industry and the skill gaps. He reminded the group that there is need to prepare youth with required skills to be engaged in the fast growing service sector. Then Fr. Shibu Davis, the coordinator of the commission for skill training gave an orientation talk on the purpose, need and proceedings for the two day convention.

The first panel discussion was a deliberation on the theme from a government perspective. The three panelists namely HA Kesavamurthy  from Karnataka Vocational Training and Skill Development Corporation, Mr. Amalan from Apex High Tech Institute and Mr. Venugopal from NTTF presented their views on the topic and challenged Don Bosco Institutions to respond to the great opportunity available in this field. They promised support to the endeavors of Don Bosco in this field.
The second panel presented the theme from an industrial perceptive and the speakers were Mr. Mr. A John Idikula from Metro Cash and Carry India, Mr. Aswathappa from Bosch Ltd and Mr. Jayakumar from Siemens. This helped participants to understand the quality requirements of the youth they would look for in today`s industry.

The third panel after Lunch again chaired by Ms. Paula had speakers such as Mr. Ms. Freda from Dr. Reddy`s Lab and Mr. Rakesh Swamy from Unnati. The group has picked up lots of inspiration, information and ideas for further reflection, discussion and action. The first day programme ended with the presentation of youth survey conducted in different Don Bosco institutions.

The second day was devoted to assess our interventions in skill training as well as to identify the opportunities. The group went on to plan required action in this field. The priority areas arrived include attention to improved quality in the training, better coordinated placement services, strategies for sustainability and need for taking up short term courses with government linkages.

This first time experience of coming together of all skill trained Salesian personnel from the province was rated to be a great success. The high level of participation as well as focused interaction and clear plans for the future was surely encouraging.  The group acknowledges the support from the National Network – Don Bosco Tech India Network – and looks forward to a continued collaboration.

The convention concluded with a short valedictory function during which the veterans in the field of skill training were honored by Fr. Provincial who also delivered the concluding address.

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