Just out of his teens and apprenticing at a mechanic in an automobile workshop in Malabar, Nithin Shaji began to display skills far beyond the expectations of his bosses. So much so, within a little over a year’s service, the office prompted the youngster from Wayanad district to participate at Kerala’s most competitive event for skill development.
At 21, Nithin is busy today as a contestant at the zonal competitions of India Skills Kerala 2020 going on in this city. Amid a sea of uniformed young people at the Government ITI in Malikkadavu here, his performance stood out during the screening of the ‘automobile technology’ competition.
Nithin, who hails from hilly Pozhuthana in Vythiri taluk, works with Eram Motors at Kakkavayal near Meenangadi between the towns of Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery. Dressed in Mahindra overalls, he is currently competing for a spot in the Automobile Technology of the India Skills Kerala 2020 that will hold its state-level finale in Kozhikode next month.
“Prior to joining the firm, I have had no major experience. All I had to my credit then was six months of job as a mechanic with a vehicle maintenance shop at Variyad after passing from ITI Puliyarmala (2016-17),” says Nithin, who has been with Eram since September 10, 2018. Within three months, the employer noticed the youth’s brilliance and efficiency in works such as on suspensions and gearbox.
According to his Service Manager, Sudeep T S, the firm saw how quickly and accurately Nithin identified and resolved issues at the workshop. “Usually, it takes three years of experience for a mechanic to rise to the level of an assistant technician,” notes Sudeep. “But with Nithin, we saw him achieving it much quicker.”
The office began enhancing Nithin’s skillset by sending him for various workshops and trainings through the year. Reveals Linto Joseph, General Manager (Kozhikode) of Eram: “We hired a trainer for Nithin and provided him with a good pair of dress and helmets.”
Within a year, as the news of upcoming India Skills Kerala 2020 came, Nithin was Eram’s obvious choice in response to an invitation by the ITI here to send workmen below the age of 21 for the competition. The youngster is to undergo another level of training with Mahindra, which will make him one of the youngest service manager in the firm.
Besides Nithin, mechanics from Toyota, Mahindra, Maruti and the Navy are part of the car painting competition, which had its screening on Monday. Those selected from here will participate in the zonals at ITI Kalamassery near Kochi on January 30 and 31.
India Skills Kerala 2020, being organized by the Industrial Training Department and Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence under the State Labour and Skills Department, will hold its state-level finale during February 22-24. The ongoing north zone competitions commenced here on Monday, with Shri A Pradeepkumar, MLA, inaugurating the five-day round.
Students up to the age of 21 from the six upstate districts of Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Kasargod are contesting in various skills.
The previous edition of annual event held competitions in 20 skills, while this time it has been more than double to 42. These include 20 academic skills and 22 specialised skills.
The state-level winners in Swapna Nagari here next month will get Rs 1,00,000 each as prize money, and runners up Rs 50,000. All finalists will get Rs 10,000 each. The winners will qualify for the national competitions, where the victors will represent the country at World Skills 2021 in Shanghai, China.