On her first day at the Titan LeAP Centre, Harini, a young girl from Ranipet (in Tamil Nadu), burst into tears. Overcome with crippling anxiety that she might not be as intelligent as the other people in her class, Harini struggled to make sense of the experience that was in 90 days going to change her life.
Raised by a single mother who worked as a daily wage labourer, Harini always strived to do well in school. Money was scarce, so Harini knew that merit was her only shot at a better life. She studied hard throughout her high school to earn a scholarship to college but soon after graduating found that an even bigger roadblock in her career was a serious lack of soft skills. She dreaded appearing for interviews, causing her to lose confidence and fail in impressing her interviewer. Such was the low ebb of her life, when Harini discovered the way to LEAP forward - enrolling in the Titan LeAP* Centre in Chennai.
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Three months later, she was placed at Tata Consultancy Services in Chennai with a five figure salary. In 90 days, the trainers at the LeAP Centre had worked their magic and Harini had gone from being a timid and reticent girl to an expressive, articulate young woman working in one of India’s biggest IT companies.
Harini and more than 42,000 young people like her have graduated from the Titan LeAP Centre since its inception in 2017. Each of them may have different reasons for joining the Centre, but what unites them is that together they represent the pulse of India - its youth. Over 50 per cent of India’s population consists of its youth - young men and women under the age of 30, unstoppable in their quest to dream BIG. However, the ever-evolving job market rapidly demands new-age skills from the youth, which our formal education system is often unable to provide. Students have to often explore alternate avenues to make themselves more employable. The less privileged, not having access to equal opportunities, often lag behind. They suffer not just due to lack of sufficient opportunities but also the absence of a bulwark - someone who they can rely on for guidance and support.
It is for them that programmes like Titan LeAP play a significant role, in being a lodestar for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. The 90-days immersion programme at the LeAP Centre in Chennai offers courses at basic and intermediate levels to students, covering life skills, language, aptitude, and business skills for 250 hours. Psychometric assessments and counselling at the outset enable the faculty to design customised learning experiences for every student. A range of facilities, from daily mid-day meals and travel assistance to placement connections, are offered to the students.
The LeAP Centre also supports students living on the outskirts of the city through its ‘spokes model’ which offers 40 hours of training to students at their own locations, coupled with another 40 hours of domain-focused training at the Chennai Centre for those who demonstrate the intent and need for specialisation.
In partnership with Anna University’s Centre For University Industry Collaboration (CUIC), the Titan LeAP Centre also runs a unique hybrid program combining 80 hours of distance learning through a Learning Management System and 54 hours of classroom training focused solely on niche domain training to enhance placement opportunities for students. The Centre’s ITI stream offers a two-week soft skills training to students enrolled in Govt ITI’s, in partnership with Directorate of Employment and Training (DET), Tamil Nadu. Job Utsavs conducted towards the end of the year act as a critical conduit between employers and trainees - over 50 of these have been conducted so far.
What sets the programme apart from other skilling programmes is the empathy with which the trainers connect with the students. The programme may last only for a few days or months, but the bonds that these students have with their trainers last much beyond that. For the students the Titan LeAP Centre is a safe haven, a place they know will be their home no matter what, with people who will guide and support them for a lifetime.