Dow Corning, the global leader in silicone technology, has announced to launch a dedicated training institution to bridge the skills gap and deliver tailor made modules customized to the needs of India’s construction industry. The proposed centre will conduct a range of construction-focused workshops across India. Taught by construction industry professionals, these workshops are suitable for skilled and unskilled construction workers, contractors, fabricators, builders, apprentices and other contributors to the industry.
Bridging the Skill Gap
Designed to deliver a better understanding of the best practices in the industry, acquiring of new skills, learning about new technologies and applications under a certificate programme, the centre aims to improve the skill sets of the construction industry workforce in India. Speaking at the launch, Jean Paul Hautekeer, Global Marketing Director – High Performance Building Solutions, Dow Corning said, “Given the increased usage of high performance silicone materials in the construction industry, there is an increasing demand for workers who are knowledgeable about these materials and skilled in their application. Through the Centre for Construction Expertise, our company is working to help meet the demand.” The centre has developed workshops on the topics that include an overview of adhesives and sealants, weatherproofing joints, sealant application in structural glazing and building expansion joints. “We believe that the centre will greatly benefit the construction industry of India in a holistic way as these training programs will improve the skill set of India’s workforce and enhance the quality of performance of construction projects,” added Hautekeer. The workshops include classroom lectures, practical demonstration and hands on learning opportunities.
India – A Growth Market
The launch comes after the recent announcement of the fourth quarter results of the company, which showed the sales were $1.59 billion, up by 7 percent compared to same time last year. The company is facing pricing challenges to limit the margins in the Dow Corning’s silicones segment; this was fallout of the dip in the solar industry market especially in the matured economies, as high percentage of the silicones are consumed by PV manufacturers globally. Commenting on the results, J Donald Sheets said, “In our polysilicon segment, Hemlock Semiconductor group delivered positive performance despite unprecedented pricing and volume pressure as the solar industry deals with excess capacity and awaits resolution of the global trade disputes.” The only way to excel in product performance is to skill the hands that deliver the product at the last mile i.e the skilled and unskilled workers. The company views India as an important market, elaborates Hautekeer, “There is a huge potential of expanding the base of silicon based products especially in the emerging markets, more so, in developing countries. Globally the usage of silicon per capita is much in developed economies and still low in Asia, India and Africa. So we see immense potential of growth in these markets. Therefore we are investing in India and Africa to enter these geographies.” He adds, “Globally we had very good results in the buildings and construction segment. This was because of two reasons, there is need in the mature economies to invest in more energy efficient buildings and in the developing world there is a need to build to cope with urbanization. These are the two trends that are emerging today globally, and are equally important to us.” Although an initiative of Dow Corning, the company is open to collaboration and partnership with other who can expand on the expertise and domains that the centre will teach related to building and construction skill sets in future..