AU Ignite marks its fifth year of accomplishment

AUSeptember 2023, Jaipur: AU Small Finance Bank (AU SFB) celebrated the fifth anniversary of AU Ignite, their skills training academy under the CSR initiatives of AU SFB on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

Dr.Krishnakant Pathak, IAS, Rajasthan cadre graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. He is the Secretary for the Finance Revenue Department of Rajasthan Government.

With the belief that developing skills of underprivileged youth is a key area of intervention and the intention of improving the living standards of the marginalised sections of society, AU Skills Academy was established in Jaipur in 2018 to deliver relevant and practical training to the marginalised youth across Rajasthan. It aims to empower the underprivileged youth of the country with relevant skills that can bridge the skills gap and promote economic development.

Initiated as a pilot endeavour, AU Skills Academy commenced its journey with a focus on Banking, Financial service and insurance discipline (BFSI) and expanded by introducing more disciplines viz. Sales and Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, Tourism and Hospitality, Office Assistance, Health and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES). In 2021, AU Skills Academy became a Centre of Excellence Programme and was initiated as AU Ignite-Unlocking You. Students under AU Ignite are trained in specific life skills such as Communication, Finance, Personality Development, and Core Employability skills that will help them adapt to an organized work environment.

AU Ignite is executed through the Hub & Spoke model where the hub comprises upskilling and reskilling courses and the spoke academies cater to initial level skilling. Hub centre caters to courses in Full Stack Development, Data Science, and Sales Force (IT/Information Technology Enabled Services(ITES) courses, while Spoke centres cater to courses in BFSI (Banking financial services and insurance), Healthcare, Tourism & Hospitality. and IT/ITES.

AU Ignite is present across 12 districts of Rajasthan with 16 academies out of which 15 are Spoke academies and 1 is a Hub centre for future skilling courses.

In five years of operations, AU Ignite has started skill academies in Alwar, Bharatpur, Chirawa, Jaitaran, Nagaur, Govardhan, Sikar, Kota, Bikaner, Bhilwara and Jodhpur besides five academies in Jaipur.

Speaking on the occasion, Sanjay Agarwal, MD, AU Small Finance Bank said, “Taking the AU SFB’s ethos of bringing wellbeing to all sections of the society, we wanted to keep the focus of our CSR initiatives in the area which would impact and uplift the living standards of the marginalised sections, thereby giving them an opportunity to be a part of the developing India. We are ecstatic to have achieved considerable progress and celebrate a very successful fifth anniversary of AU Ignite, our flagship program working towards imparting relevant skills to the youth and empowering them to enhance their living standards. With an aim to educate over 28,000 students by March 2025, AU Ignite is committed to providing holistic skill learning and employment opportunities. Through this initiative, we are empowering individuals to thrive in an ever-changing job market. We aim to create a culture of continuous learning and growth, and to inspire individuals to take ownership of their career trajectories and pursue their full potential.”

In its first five years since inception, AU Ignite has trained 13,628 Trainees and placed 11,136 out of the pool, achieving placement assistance of over 80%. Post successfully placing the candidate, AU Ignite also tracks their job retention for six months to ensure that the candidates continue their employment. The trainees have been successfully placed with blue-chip companies like HDFC Bank, Equitas Small Finance Bank, Jana Small Finance Bank, Axis Bank, Digambar Finance, Apollo Hospitals, Fortis, Narayana Multispecialty Hospital, Rajasthan Hospital, EHCC Hospital, Taj Devi Ratna, Indian Hotel Company Limited, Lemon Tree Hotels, Marriot, Genpact, Teleperformance, Infosys, Jumio India Pvt Ltd., and EXL Services to name a few.

AU Ignite plans to have a dedicated Research & Development department to aid further addition of relevant courses. The project will leverage on strengths of established high-quality training partners, and aim to provide holistic skilling interventions to last-mile beneficiaries and first-generation earners across the state of Rajasthan.