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Domestic servants to gain MBA-like advantage

business Updated: Jun 15, 2009 23:11 IST
Ruchi Hajela

They may not have a degree in management, but domestic servants and maids can move up the value chain —jargon for doing more profitable work — if the International Labour Organisation succeeds in a novel plan.

The UN Agency, in parternship with the Ministry of Labour and Employment and Delhi government, is set to kick off a pilot project to re-skill domestic workers across Delhi and Noida region by early July.

The pilot with a sample of 300 domestic workers is expected to last two years and is a part of the government’s Skill Development Initiative that aims to provide skill enhancement to early school leavers and existing workers.

"Skill development is just an entry point, we want to professionalise and organise domestic workers. We aim to provide career progression within domestic workers," Akiko Sakamoto, specialist on skills and training policy at ILO's sub regional office for South Asia told Hindustan Times.

ILO, for over an year, has been working with the state government, Industrial Training Corporations (training institutes funded by private firms), non governmental organisations and civil society workers to identify skill sets, prepare course and train trainers.

"We will be issuing a skills card that will help potential employers identify skill sets and background of a worker. As the appreciation for properly trained domestic assistants increases, we believe the wage levels will also increase" Sakamoto said.

For the pilot, trainees will pay close to Rs 100-Rs 200 and ILO will subsidise the rest of the fees. ILO estimates that up to 0.6 million domestic workers would be needed in the Delhi, Noida region in the next five years.