Bhubaneswar, Jan 13 (PTI) Union Petroleum and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today batted for global tie-ups to transform Odisha into a skill development and training hub.

“Odisha offers a very optimistic eco-system to develop it as a skill and knowledge-centric hub with the presence of premier academic institutions under the state and the private sector,” he said.

Stating that Odisha is home to world-class training institutions like the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology, and the Central Tool Room and Training Centre, Pradhan said such platforms must create networking opportunities to upgrade human resource capital.

“We must ensure that people’s skills keep pace with technology,” the minister said.

Pradhan made the observations after holding an interactive session on skill initiatives with global companies, which have gathered here for the ongoing 22nd Refining Technology and Petrochemicals Meet.

The sole agenda of the interactive session was to pave the way for international collaborations with Odisha’s premier technical institutions for training the local youth to increase employability, a senior official said.

Japanese Ambassador in India, Kenji Hiramatsu, who was part of the deliberations, said there was tremendous potential in Odisha for developing knowledge and skill-based industries with support from Japanese businesses.

The meeting assumed significance as skill development has been accorded a top priority in the hydrocarbon sector, in line with the National Skill Development Mission.

The availability of sufficient number of skilled personnel for business operations and associated challenges related to attracting, training and retaining of personnel are gaining critical importance today, said another senior official.

Considering the “pioneering initiatives” introduced in Odisha by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, putting the state strongly on the road of being the “energy gateway to eastern India’, it is opening up a world of opportunities for progress and prosperity of the region, he said.

In this context the Petroleum, Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Investment Region (PCPIR), being developed at Paradip, will require manpower with varied skill sets for hydrocarbon and allied sectors, he added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.