Ministry in talks for skilled overseas jobs for Indians

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 11, 2021

About 3.7 million jobs have been identified in 15 countries

Cabinet note for amending the Apprenticeship Act, 1961, to enhance employment opportunities, to be ready by April 2021, says official

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has identified job opportunities for about 3.7 million skilled Indian workers abroad in the blue- and grey-collared categories.

The jobs are in 15 countries including the Gulf, the US, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore and New Zealand and Australia, over the next five years. The Ministry is trying to collaborate with its foreign partners to lay down mutually acceptable parameters for the same, a government official has said.

The Ministry is also hopeful that a draft Cabinet note for amending the Apprenticeship Act, 1961, to enhance employment opportunities in pace with changing nature of work space, will be submitted in April 2021 after discussions with stakeholders, MSDE Secretary Praveen Kumar said.

The MSDE and the Ministry of External Affairs are in talks with various stakeholders, to prepare separate strategy papers for different countries in line with their requirements and regulations, Kumar said at a media interaction on Thursday. The on-going talks with partner countries are at various stages, with discussions with some like Japan and the UAE at very advanced levels, he added.

Blue-, grey-collared jobs

In a study carried out by the MSDE, as many as 2.63 million jobs have been identified for Indians in the Gulf countries, 0.3 million jobs in major European countries and another one million jobs in mature migration countries such as the US, Singapore, New Zealand and Japan. “These jobs are in the blue-collared and grey-collared sectors and are not for white-collared workers”, Kumar explained.

A mechanism is under formulation with the UAE to benchmark skill qualifications, assessment, and certification, accompanied by the deployment of certified workforce. India and Japan are also set to finalise the modalities and methodologies for movement of skilled workers from India in the identified sectors to Japan under the specified skill worker scheme in the next meeting of the joint working group.

Preliminary meetings have also been held with Germany and Australia for discussing the issues related to health sector migration and detailed action notes are being made, according to Kumar.

On proposed amendment to the Apprenticeship Act announced in Budget 2021, the official said that the definition of establishment needs to be changed to include any place where any trade/commerce/industry activity is taking place including educational/ training institutions also. This will further expand the institutions available for apprenticeship.

Third Party Aggregators

To relieve the industry from burden of paperwork, the amendment may enable empanelled Third Party Aggregators (TPAs) to support employers in all functionalities of apprentice engagement, stipend payment and other paperwork.

Removal of the penal provisions of monetary penalty for failure to take apprentices as per norms, implementable through a judicial process, and replacing the same with fine by executive authorities is also under consideration.

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Published on February 11, 2021
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