27 February 2020


CSTI Panvel: Constructing Hope

The old Mumbai-Pune highway is well past its glory days and doesn’t attract as much traffic as it once used to. If you happen to find yourself on it, somewhere in the vicinity of Panvel, that sense of abandonment is visibly apparent. Lining up on either side of the road as you snake away from the Panvel rail station are roadside dhabas and watering holes from a bygone era and half-built worn-out structures which give the illusion of having been mills and factories in another life.

Some14 kilometers out on this stretch, lie the gates of a campus belonging to L&T Construction. The modest entrance seems in agreement with the surroundings and everything beyond the rusting iron gates appears still. That is until you walk a couple of hundred meters inside the enclosure and hear a distinct sound, a familiar buzz that you normally hear around a school or a college building. Suddenly you see groups of youngsters in blue dungarees, carrying notebooks and toolkits in their hands, hurrying to somewhere, discussing something important under the portico or simply sharing a laugh as they enjoy a quick recess under the shade of a tree nearby.

The youngsters are trainees of Construction Skills Training Institute (CSTI) Panvel, a centre, as the name suggests dedicated to imparting skills needed for finding employment in the construction industry. Set up way back in 1996 the institute for the last 20 years has been preparing a workforce of skilled men across difference trades in construction ranging from Formwork Carpentry and Bar Bending and Steel Fixing to Masonry, Tiling and Pipe Welding. Since it first became operational, CSTI Panvel has trained more than 8000 workmen across these trades and helped them find employment as semi-skilled or skilled employees. The training has allowed the pass-outs earn better wages and build better lives for themselves and their families.

Spread over eight acres of land, CSTI features an Institute building, an adjoining 2.75 acres of open land next to the institute building for imparting practical training on the trainees and a four storied hostel. The institute building has nine classrooms, an e-learning room, a tool and model display hall, conference room, store room, doctor’s clinic, pantry and dedicated spaces for instructors, demonstrators and the support staff while the hostel has 75 rooms each designed to provide lodging for four trainees, a large canteen and dining hall and recreation room where trainees can unwind in their spare time.

The institute currently has four instructors and 12 demonstrators, all experts in their respective disciplines. The courses offered by CSTI are highly focused and run for a period of 2-3 months. Anyone who has passed class five in school and is between the ages of 18-35 years is eligible to apply for a course of his choosing. The admissions are on throughout the year with the first week of every month reserved for the activity.

According to an official at CSTI-Panvel, the idea is to allow as many youngsters to benefit from the facility as possible. “We offer everything for free whether it is training, uniform, toolkits, food or accommodation. We’ve kept the eligibility criteria fairly relaxed so as to allow maximum number of youngsters to enrol themselves for the courses on offer and turn their lives around.”


Sr. No.





Formwork Carpentry

3 months

5th Std. Pass / ITI Carpentry


Bar Bending & Steel Fixing

3 months

5th Std. Pass



3 months

5th Std. Pass / ITI Masonry



3 months

5th Std. Pass / ITI Masonry


He says that in most cases the social profile of the candidates are such that they have access to very few opportunities to begin with and if places like CSTI kept a very stringent criteria and didn’t cast the net wide enough, it would defeat the whole purpose of the initiative.

The duration of the courses has also been kept fairly short in light of the fact that many trainees tend to have families dependent on them and they cannot afford to remain out of work for too long. The courses are designed as compact ones. “The modular nature of each of the five courses on offer ensures that there’s absolute clarity and focus on what the trainees end up learning. Also we lay a greater emphasis on practical training so that the trainees, when they pass out from the institute are readily employable.

 The faculty at the institute lays a strong emphasis on assessing all that the trainees learn during the run of their course. Periodic tests by both in-house faculty and visiting subject matter experts ensure that no trainee is left behind in terms of learning. There’s also a focus on familiarising the trainees with the latest in construction technologies and advance methodologies so that they can keep pace with the changes in the industry.

Successful graduates receive a certificate after the completion of their course. Furthermore, a separate assessment conducted by NSDC through CSDCI (National Skill Development Corporation through Construction Skill Development Council of India), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, offers successful candidates an additional certificate which helps the trainees find gainful employment.

The institute also helps place successful candidates at various L&T project sites.The trainees who choose the entrepreneurial path are given due guidance and encouragement from the institute too.

Career progression of the pass outs is also ensured through special courses after the candidates have spent some time in the industry and gained professional experience.



Institute Head Name

Contact No

Email ID


Kamaljit Singh Mehrok




Dr. M V Venkatesan




T S Patil




Tushar Bagchi




R Ravi Kumar







CSTI - Jadcherla

D K Sharma




V R Parekh




Life as a construction worker can be hard. The rigors of toiling under the hot sun for hours and feeling of being away from home and the loved ones for months can take its toll on the less prepared and emotionally weak. To help them cope with the stresses that life could throw at them, the institute organises sessions on emotional well-being at regular intervals. These sessions help the young men discover their inner strength and toughen up emotionally for the challenges ahead.

Each year a huge mass of uneducated youngsters flood the already overcrowded unorganised labour market in the country. Mostly unskilled, these men rarely get a chance to stand out in the crowd and achieve their true potential.

On the other hand, the construction sector which continues to be one of the biggest employers in the country suffers on account of a severe lack of skilled labour force. One of CSTI’s missions for the past two decades has been bridging this gap and ensuring that the right set of skills meet the right opportunities. And if in the process CSTI ends up helping some of these workmen turn their lives around, it’s a bonus that’s always welcome!

L&T has set up eight CSTIs all over India including the one at Panvel. Contact details of Heads of these institutes are given in the table alongside for interested candidates to get in touch with.


For more details contact:

Toll Free No:180030000730

Website: www.lntecc.com/homepage/common/skilltraining.html

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