India will train and upgrade the skills of potential emigrant workers to enable them get better jobs abroad, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said here on Monday.
At a consultation with state governments, Ravi said a pre-departure orientation training and skill upgradation programme would be launched in eight major states that currently send a large number of workers overseas.
"The key objectives of this national initiative will be to help Indian workers benefit from emerging employment opportunities across the world and enable them to move up the wage chain," Ravi said at the meeting attended by top officials of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Harayana.
"India must be perceived as a supplier of highly skilled and trained manpower to the world," he said.
The programme is expected to be launched next month. Each state is expected to train between 5,000 and 10,000 workers in the current year.
"States like Orissa, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have enormous potential for providing overseas employment for skilled workers. These states would be covered in Phase-II of the programme," the minister added.
Ravi explained the programme would be undertaken by state governments with the support of his ministry in partnership with apex industry bodies such as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
He said the overseas Indian affairs ministry would provide 75 percent of the funding and the state governments the remaining cost.
"It (the programme) will be able to support the eight major sourcing states to train at least 50,000 workers annually for overseas employment in diverse sectors," the minister said.
The duration of the training will range between one and two weeks depending on the need at a training cost of about Rs. 20,000 per batch of 15 trainees.
According to the minister, a key element of the national training programme would be the standardised testing and certification of emigrant workers to meet global standards.
The consultation meeting was chaired by overseas Indian Affairs secretary Nirmal Singh.
Around 550,000 skilled, unskilled or semi-skilled workers emigrate every year from India.