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Centre to crack down on those seeking jobs abroad without orientation programme

Blue-collar workers from Delhi who fail to undergo a mandatory orientation programme cannot go abroad, with the government refusing them clearance to emigrate, a move that could have a bearing on job prospects of thousands of people.

india Updated: Jun 17, 2018 23:47 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
jobs abroad,orientation programme,Blue-collar workers
The government order, which kicked in on June 15, came after recruitment agencies in the Capital failed to get at least 20% of prospective emigrant workers schooled in pre-departure orientation training.(HT/Photo for representation)

Blue-collar workers from Delhi who fail to undergo a mandatory orientation programme cannot go abroad, with the government refusing them clearance to emigrate, a move that could have a bearing on job prospects of thousands of people.

The government order, which kicked in on June 15, came after recruitment agencies in the Capital failed to get at least 20% of prospective emigrant workers schooled in pre-departure orientation training. The programme aims to keep the workers safe, equip them with “enhanced skill sets” and familiarise them with the rules of the destination country.

“In spite of several reminders, it is observed from the report on attendance of PDOT (pre-departure orientation training) that recruitment agents (RAs) are not sending sufficient emigrants,” the order issued by the ministry of external affairs said.

Blue-collar workers need an emigration clearance from the protector of emigrants to travel abroad for work, mostly in Gulf countries. The training facilities in Delhi were underutilized in the absence of nomination of RAs, the May 30 order said, adding the government had decided to make it mandatory for agents in Delhi to send all emigrants to PDOT training.

“Without PDOT training no emigration clearance would be granted to any emigrants recruited by RAs after June 15, 2018,” it said.

Around 9,000 migrant workers from Delhi found jobs abroad in the last four years and the city has close to 200 recruitment agents, latest government data shows. The decision will not just affect workers from the Capital but also from the neighbouring states who flock Delhi.

The training module is drawn up the India Centre for Migration (ICM), formerly Indian Council of Overseas Employment.

ICM guides the MEA on the matters of international migration. It has brought out a training module on pre-departure orientation (PDO) and a handbook for migrant workers leaving for Gulf countries in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, which advises and provides services to governments on migrants. The manual has been translated into Hindi and other Indian languages.

“Imparting PDO is integral part of ministry’s efforts to ensure that workers should migrate safely with an enhanced skill-set – “Surakshit Jaaye, Prashikshit Jaaye (be safe and be trained),” said another official on condition of anonymity.

Experts, however, say penalising workers alone for not undergoing the training will not help. The pre-departure training and awareness should be a more involved and an all-encompassing process, said Ginu Zacharia Oommen, an expert on international migration and a former senior fellow at the ICM.

All stakeholders, including state governments, should take a pro-active role in ensuring safe migration. “And taking action that hampers the interest of workers will not serve much purpose. Instead, ministry should consult stakeholders and come out with a solution that will facilitate the training for the workers who hail from disadvantageous background,” Oommen said.

First Published: Jun 17, 2018 23:41 IST