Arjun*, a poor youth, lands at a construction work site in search of a job and is hired as a helper.
One day, he helps a crane operator and a few days later begins operating it himself. He starts using it to lift several tonnes at a site teeming with labourers, learning by trial and error.
After about five years, if he has a spotless record, he will go on to become a crane operator commanding more than `25,000 a month. This is how most people become crane operators, say industry sources. Often, helpers and truck drivers become crane operators — all they need is a heavy vehicle driving licence. Around 90% of them never attend a training programme. They learn on the job.