G. Naga Sridhar

As 85 per cent of Canadian exports reach US through roadways, the demand for truck drivers is on the rise.

HyderabadApril 16After IT professionals, the fruits of a flat world and a global job market are now waiting to reach the other end of the spectrum, the skilled workers.

There has been a growing demand for Indian skilled workers in construction trades and drivers abroad, especially in the US, Canada and Australia, according to experts. "Construction is the buzzword in many countries including the US. There is huge shortage of manpower in construction trades abroad and now India is being seen as a hot market in these sectors," Mr FCS Peter, Director- General, National Academy of Construction (NAC), told

Business Line.

The NAC has been training construction workers such as masons, carpenters and others in upgrading their skills so that they can cope with the work demands abroad.

"We have received request for about 1,500 skilled workers across various branches such as masonry and carpentry. We are working on other modalities," Mr Peter said. Some US-based firms are also seeking the construction equipment operators, he added. The US is not alone. Countries such as Canada and Australia are also eyeing Indian skilled manpower.

"It is estimated that Canada requires about 50,000 skilled workers and there has been lot of interest in Indian workers," Mr Curtis Panke, Director of Canada-based Global Placements, told

Business Line

. As 85 per cent of Canadian exports reach US through roadways, the demand for truck drivers is on the rise. "Already, about 15 per cent of 2.5 lakh immigrants into Canada are from India. With the boom of manufacturing and construction sectors in the West, there will be more opportunities in the days to come," he added.

While a worker in construction trades can earn between Canadian $3,000 and 3,500 (Rs 1,10,700 - 1,29,130)per month, truck driver pay packages are between C$5,500 and 6,000 per month, says Mr Panke.

The immigration modalities are also being made easier by nations.

"Canada, for instance, is in the process of further simplifying the norms for issuing work permits," said Mr B.S. Sandhu, Chairman and Managing Director, World Wide Immigration and Consultancy Services. Generally, work permits are issued for two years and are extendable.

Notwithstanding the lucrative offers, skilled workers need to go the extra mile for making their career abroad a success.

"Though there is nothing to be done with literacy, it is better if the workers are educated at least up to the V Standard to undergo the procedural formalities. We are also training them to adapt to the work conditions abroad including the language," said Mr Peter.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 17, 2007)
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