Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lure of leather

Q What are the career prospects in the leather industry? Can you also please suggest some relevant courses?

Nabeel Sheikh

A The Government of India has categorised leather as a crust industry, that is, an industry with a large employment generation potential. In 2006-07, this predominantly export-oriented industry earned about $3 billion.

The organised luggage market is growing at a 20 per cent clip annually and at nearly 40 per cent in the case of high-end bags.

Contrary to popular perception, it is a high-tech and high-growth industry with well-paying jobs. Academically, in addition to various short and long-term vocational non-degree programmes, there are good academic programmes in footwear management, footwear fabrication & design as well as B.Tech or M.Tech in leather technology.

Students with skill-based vocational education get absorbed as master technicians in the industry, while diploma holders take up supervisory jobs in the factories. BTech graduates begin their career as graduate engineers or management trainees in various product and leather factories.

The various institutes training students for the leather industry are as follows:

  • AVI School of Fashion & Shoe Technology, Chandigarh

  • Central Footwear Training Institute (CFTI), Agra

  • Central Footwear Training Institute (CFTI), Chennai

  • Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai

  • College of Leather Technology, Kolkata

  • Footwear Design & Development Institute (FDDI), Noida

  • Indian Institute of Leather Products (IILP), Chennai

  • National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi

  • Prototype Development & Training Centre (PDTC), Chennai

  • Shoe Design Centre, New Delhi