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Punjab Chief Minister Inaugurates Bharti Wal-Mart Training Centre in Amritsar


* Public Private Partnership between Bharti Wal-Mart and Govt of Punjab aimed at tackling unemployability through short-term vocational certification courses
* Enrollments now open; all enrolled candidates to be awarded 100% scholarships

Amritsar: The Bharti Wal-Mart Training Centre, India’s first special skills training centre aimed at bridging the shortage of skilled workers for cash-and-carry and organized retail formats was inaugurated today in Amritsar, Punjab by Sardar Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab. The inauguration was also attended by Shrikant Lonikar, Executive Vice President—People, Wal-Mart India and Arti Singh, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Bharti Wal-Mart Private Limited.

The Bharti Wal-Mart Training Centre is located at the Government Institute of Garment Technology (GIGT) Amritsar, which is run by the Department of Technical Education, Punjab Government.

Enrollments for the inaugural batch of students at the Training Centre are now open. Bharti Wal-Mart has set up a dedicated help line service for interested candidates at 0183-3222944. The Bharti Wal-Mart Training Centre is expected to train approximately 125 candidates each month. All enrolled candidates will be awarded 100% scholarships. Certification for floor assistants and sales assistants will be two week half-day programs with an additional week-long program for supervisors. Those opting for front-end retail jobs will be required to attend a week-long program.

While unemployment remains a major concern, unemployability is a significant challenge for India’s employable youth. New and emerging industries such as cash-and-carry and retail are increasingly being recognized as engines of growth. Yet the jobs on offer in these sectors require vocational skills instead of theoretical knowledge. Recent studies show that 57% of Indian youth -- 2.5% from Punjab alone -- do not have the opportunity to avail of training opportunities to make them employable.

In order to improve the employability of youth in Punjab, the Government of Punjab has joined hands with Bharti Wal-Mart Private Limited (Bharti Wal-Mart) in a Public Private Partnership to offer short-term vocational certification courses that will equip candidates to become Floor and Sales Assistants or Supervisors at wholesale cash-and-carry and retail ventures.

The curriculum has been developed by Bharti Learning Systems in consultation with Wal-Mart, leveraging the deep global knowledge and expertise of Wal-Mart. Bharti Learning Systems will also manage and run the Centre.

Speaking about the Training Institute and Bharti Wal-Mart’s business plans, Mr Raj Jain, Managing Director and CEO, Bharti Wal-Mart Private Limited said, “We are close to opening our cash-and-carry operations in the coming months and one of the major challenges we have faced is getting talent that is job-ready with the right customer service mindset and requisite skills set. It is simply not available. We are delighted that in the Government of Punjab we have found a forward thinking partner that readily extended their hand when we suggested that we could offer our experience to help the youth gain employable skills. As this Skill Centre’s capacity gets fully utilized, we will explore the possibility of using classrooms at other ITIs and Polytechnics across Punjab to increase coverage.”

On the occasion Mr. Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises said, “India has the largest youth population in the world and they need opportunities to be a partner in the country’s growth story. Retail is clearly an area that will offer tremendous employment and growth opportunities to our youth in the coming days. We are delighted to be a part of this initiative that promises to create a talent pool for the retail industry.”

Designed to make candidates job-ready through quick and practical training, the training methodology will include intensive drills and hands-on practical experience. Candidates will be co-certified by Bharti Wal-Mart and the Department of Technical Education, Government of Punjab based on written evaluations conducted at the end of the training program.

About Bharti Wal-Mart Private Limited
Bharti Wal-Mart Private Limited is a business-to-business (B2B) joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart for wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations in India to serve small retailers, manufacturers and farmers. The JV is scheduled to launch its first B2B wholesale cash-and-carry store in northern India in 2009. A typical cash-and-carry store will stand between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet and sell a wide range of fruits and vegetables, groceries, footwear, clothing and other general merchandise items. The JV is expected to open 10 to 15 wholesale cash-and-carry facilities and employ approximately 5,000 people over the next seven years.


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