Education at a whole new level

UL Education intends to enter into Global education scenario at School and College level and is planning to establish International School and finishing school for improving the employability of students.

ULCCS – the right partner for Skill Development

ULCCS has an unblemished track record of relentless commitment to quality. It is one of the most preferred organisations for development of roads, bridges and allied infrastructure. Considering the meritorious service performance of the Society, Government of Kerala appointed ULCCS as an Accredited Agency in departments such as Finance, Local Self Government Department, Tourism, Labour and Cooperation for execution of projects without tender procedure.

The following are two examples of how ULCCS acted on the government’s behalf and successfully conceptualised, constructed and operated large institutions that would ordinarily have been operated by the Government.

The first is Sargaalaya, Kerala’s premier handicraft tourism destination. An initiative under the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, Sargaalaya was developed at an abandoned mining quarry in an area of 20 acres. Selected artisans and craftsmen from the country have been allotted 30 cottages and supporting facilities for craft production and a common centre was made for the display and sale of their finished products. ULCCS also focused and put in efforts in developing the village as a tourist destination by creating facilities for entertainment, sports, events, light show, boating etc. With its consistent efforts, in a short period of six years of existence, ‘Sargaalaya’ has become one of the most prominent tourist destinations in Kerala. In 2016 it won the award for best rural tourism destination from the Government of India.

The second is UL Cyberpark, the first IT SEZ Park in Malabar region, which is also the first of its kind developed by a labour contract cooperative society in the world. M/s Nikken Sekkei, Japan, one of the world’s leading architects, prepared the master plan of the campus with a total built-up area of 2.7 million sq.ft. The first building in the campus is already in operation and can house 5000 professionals. The building is rated as the best in the region in terms of architectural, functional and efficiency parameters.The abundant availability of talent and advanced social infrastructure in the region has made UL CyberPark a natural destination for IT/ ITES companies and is transforming Kozhikode into a prime destination for knowledge based industries.

Motivation for establishing UL-Education

ULCCS Ltd. has established a unique name and repute in development of physical infrastructure in the state of Kerala. The Society’s growth is attributed to its unflinching commitment to quality and the key focus on inclusivity in its operations. With the changes in the economic environment, the Society has diversified into Information technology, Agriculture etc. and also created a high quality workspace (SEZ) for growth of IT/ITES industries. The high quality work as well as the excellent commitment to complete projects in time has resulted in huge demand for the services of ULCCS as well as its subsidiaries in the region. However to exploit this burgeoning opportunity, there is a need for having high quality manpower. Unfortunately two key challenges limit the growth plans of ULCCS. On the one hand there is an acute shortage of manpower for carrying out skilled work in its various operations while on the other hand for supervisory, executive and managerial positions, the employability of graduates available is extremely poor, limiting the growth of ULCCS and similar institutions. To arrest this vicious circle of decay, the Society feels it necessary to evolve a comprehensive and systemic solution that addresses overall development of manpower at various levels. This forms the primary motivation for ULCCS’ foray into the field of education.

Even though Kerala has highest literacy rate in India, few institutions in Kerala are recognised at national level for the quality of output. Thus it is obvious that in order to excel in the field of education, concrete interventions are required at different levels. If ULCCS could replicate its success story in creating world class physical infrastructure in the development of intellectual infrastructure, it could strategically implement a new course of development for the State. The vision and unique style of inclusive management may prove invaluable to solve the age old paradox of access, quality and cost that plague the development of quality institutions in the State. Creation of World Class Institutions with superior quality affordable to masses is the need of the hour. Through multiple interventions UL-Education attempts to realise this dream of developing Institutions of national and International repute from Kerala soil. ULCCS is trying to improve employability skills through appropriate skill development programmes.

Initiatives in Education

ULCCS has been making interventions in the education space over the last few years, even before conceptualising UL Education as a separate division.

a) Vagbhatananda Edu Project (VEP)

This is a project under ULCCS Foundation, the CSR wing of ULCCS.The mission of VEP envisages enriching the academic stream through supplementary interventions for better career awareness and career planning.

A total of 200 aspiring energetic and hardworking students will be trained keeping in mind the requirements of enriching their academics as a first step towards initiating competitive learning. The students are selected through entrance examination and are given training at 8 centres across Kozhikode district. The training is also given at these centres during the academic year. Some of the activities under VEP include workshops, National Merit cum Means Scholarships (NMMS); Rain camp Study trip to Malabar Regional Botanical Garden, Olavanna, Kozhikode; visits to Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), Zoological Survey of India (Western Ghats Field Research Centre); Quiz Competitions; workshops for Maths, Chemistry, Geography etc. Students are given Special training in Space Science as well. Eminent faculties and teachers in the field of science and education including scientists deliver classes in their areas of expertise.

Civil Service Foundation Class

The program includes foundation classes for Civil Service aspirants. The project accommodated more than 150 students in the last three batches. Regular classes are given during vacations. Moreover other aspiring students can also attend the programme. In each class, aspirants are given appropriate guidance on how to study a subject in a different perspective that ultimately shapes their reading habit for competitive exams. Classes are handled by faculties with extensive experience in Civil services coaching. Apart from the traditional areas, classes are provided in personality development, motivation and other prospective areas.

b) UL Guru

ULguru.com is an online platform for students, parents, teachers, and the public to enhance their knowledge by learning new and updated topics. Launched in 2016, it is a platform to deliver products and services to learn a variety of courses and discover future opportunities in education and career. As a first step, an online tuition course was offered to higher secondary science stream students.

UL Guru is an initiative by UL Technology Solutions (ULTS), the IT/ITES subsidiary of Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society Ltd (ULCCS). ULTS has already made its mark in the area of E- governance, Healthcare, Transport and logistics by providing GIS services and enterprise solutions. ULTS is promoting technology-enabled learning environment across selected high schools and higher secondary schools of the state. It envisages appropriate content development and learning program which facilitates the students to enter into higher education sector based upon their interest, aptitude, attitude and goals.

Dr. T.P. Sethumadhavan, Director (UL Education) and renowned educationist, leads a career guidance session at ULCCS Head Office at Vadakara

c) Other initiatives

  • UL Education has already started networking with institutions of repute within the country and abroad for collaboration in the fields of education, skill development, research and development.
  • UL Education is in the process of establishing Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) in association with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in Kozhikode and Wayanad districts to promote skill development in identified sector skill councils.
  • It is also planning to establish a National Skills Park in Kozhikode in which a large campus will be set up to provide training in various skills that help the students to secure attractive jobs.
  • UL Education plans to start a high-quality entrance coaching centre aimed at preparing students for JEE and NEET exams.
  • UL Education will soon set up a finishing school for promotion of employability.
  • UL Education is planning to launch comprehensive skill development program for tribal youth in Wayanad District.
  • ULCCS has started various other projects such as Collaborative Smart Class room Content development, Ready to air content for Education-related TV Channels, career clinics for educational and career guidance, Online Learning System for Higher Secondary Students, publication division etc.

Rich experience in construction and IT

ULCCS has been in the construction business for more than nine decades. It has a highly skilled technical team with more than 500 staff. The team includes many highly experienced professionals. For example, the Chief Technical Officer is a former Superintending Engineer at Kerala PWD and has more than 30 years of experience. ULCCS has provided millions of man-hours of employment in all phases of infrastructure construction – right from feasibility studies, estimation and design to project management and execution. It has trained thousands of employees from rural backgrounds and groomed them into highly skilled technicians and supervisors. In recent years, it has become a highly sought-after workplace for young engineers, mostly from Civil, Electrical and Mechanical engineering streams. Through hundreds of large scale projects, ULCCS has amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience which can be utilised to impart skill education in IIIC.

Diversification has boosted the Society’s skill base significantly. Through UL Cyberpark and UL Technology Solutions, ULCCS has gained expertise in facility management, software project management, Geographic Information System (GIS), systems integration, software application development, etc.

Some of the areas where ULCCS has tremendous expertise are shown in the table below:

S.No Area of expertise
1 Construction management
2 Engineering management
3 Facility management
4 Surveyors/ Marking
5 Form Work
6 Reinforcement/ Bar bending
7 Concreting
8 Masonry – Block / Plastering
9 Masonry – Tile and Granite
10 Road works, Pavers / Kerbstone layers
11 Gypsum work
12 Metal working
13 Electrical
14 Plumbing
15 Drafting (for Civil/Electrical/Plumbing works)
16 Geographic Information System (GIS)
17 Entrepreneurship
18 Skill development
19 Education and career counselling
20 Agribusiness

Through the proposed Institute, we envisage to deliver courses that will upskill technicians, supervisors, engineers and managers and make them more employable. Since ULCCS has ongoing projects covering all major stages and activities related to engineering and construction, it will be comparatively easy to arrange on-the-job training and demonstrations for the courses envisaged to be taught at IIIC. Also, it will be possible to provide employment to a small percentage of the students at ULCCS itself after completing the course. The courses at IIIC will create skilled workers, supervisors and managers.

Linkages

Apart from the home-grown skills mentioned above, ULCCS has access to a wide network of academic and industry partners across the globe. Due to our pioneering efforts over the last nine decades, we will be able to associate/network with reputed institutions and firms for knowledge transfer. We have already held discussions with institutions of repute across the country and abroad for technical collaborations including UK, Dutch, Germany and Singapore institutions.