YOUNG SANJOY Pramanik has brought great cheer to India’s skills programme and to the gems and jewellery sector simultaneously. The 21-year-old jewellery tradesman from West Bengal won a bronze medal in the jewellery category at the WorldSkills International Competition 2019 held in Kazan, Russia, in August. In fact, the Indian contingent brought home their best ever haul at WorldSkills, finishing with one gold, one silver and two bronze medals, plus 15 medallions of excellence.

Rajeev Garg, Executive Director and CEO, GJSCI (Gem and Jewellery Skill Council of India), says that Sanjoy has been training for three years. There are state- and regional-level skill competitions organized by the GJSCI, from which shortlisted candidates go on to the IndiaSkills competition. The winners of IndiaSkills are then trained for the WorldSkills competition, held once every two years. ‘Sanjoy won at IndiaSkills in 2016 also, but he was underage at the time, so he could not participate in WorldSkills 2017. Sanjoy comes from a humble background – he is a farmer’s son and has studied only till Class VIII. For WorldSkills, he trained under Anupam Karmakar at VBJ, our industry partner. VBJ handled his boarding and lodging for the duration of his training, provided the trainer and paid him a stipend, while we handled his travel and paid him a stipend as well,’ says Garg.

Garg explains that there are four modules in the jewellery category at WorldSkills, which are to be completed over four days. Sanjoy had to be trained in not only the technical aspects, like converting plans to product, soldering, etc., but also in staying calm over four days while maintaining his focus on each day’s tasks. Sanjoy’s and other candidates’ work was ‘blind-rated’ separately on each day by the jury. GJSCI had also made Sanjoy participate in the French and Australian national skill competitions in the past three years, where he won a silver and a bronze medal, respectively. ‘It enhanced his confidence and exposed him to the environment of an international competition, which was also crucial,’ says Garg.

He adds that the GJSCI has been putting greater efforts into training tradespersons like Sanjoy, and have also provided test projects that are in the public domain so that workers can hone their skills. In fact, the GJSCI flew down Brazilian trainer Leonardo Rodrigues to train Sanjoy. Leo is the winner of the 2015 WorldSkills competition in the jewellery category. He has also helped GJSCI develop a manual for training workers like Sanjoy to compete in the WorldSkills competition, which will be distributed free of cost.

Garg says the GJSCI hopes to have not one but half a dozen industry partners in the future, and an equal number of trainers like Karmakar, so that more workers are skilled. This will lead to greater skill in the industry, making Indian products more competitive in the foreign market, and making the jewellery trades aspirational for young artisans.

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