Healthcare to generate jobs, govt to focus on skilling for employment abroad
The Union government is collaborating with a clutch of countries to draw up the parameters for imparting skill training in the heath sector that is expected to generate more jobs worldwide following the changes imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, said a person aware of the details.
The work of imparting skills is carried out by the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship (MSDE), which has identified 300,000 jobs in the health sector alone in countries such Australia, Germany, Canada, Japan, Sweden and Singapore.
“Since the pandemic has increased the scope of opportunities in the health sector, the ministry is working with individual countries to work out equivalence of qualifications,” said the person cited above.
“There are parameters that need to be worked out for workers to be deemed eligible. For instance, the skills of an operation theatre technician may vary; what is suited for the US may not fit in with the requirements in Sweden. So, we have to draw up equivalence of skills,” the person said.
Blue and grey collar jobs for skilled workers have also been identified in a dozen-odd countries, including the Gulf, United States, Singapore and Switzerland. Officials expect 2.63 million job opportunities in the Gulf counties in the next five years; 300,000 in UK and a million jobs in New Zealand, US and Japan.
For future collaboration with countries in the health sector, Indian embassies have been asked to organise webinars of MSDE with major health sector employers in those countries; placement agencies have been asked to furnish details of country and sector-wise demand of health workers and virtual meetings will be organised between employers or employer association of the health sector and professionals.
Since job requirements are not uniform, the ministry will bilaterally work out the details of skilling needs with the destination countries.
For instance, there are opportunities in sectors such as construction and related activities in the Gulf countries while health care workers and workforce that can work in sectors such as retail and delivery are more in demand in the European countries; so, country-specific requirements will be addressed.
For people with technical skills in sectors such as healthcare, management, financial services and technologies the key destinations are USA, Canada, UK, EU and Australia. For skilled and unskilled workers in key sectors such as construction, retail and drivers the key destinations are the Middle East and the Gulf countries.
“If you look at the sector-wise trend of labour outflow, India’s migrant workforce accounts for 18% of the total manufacturing sector, 14% of the retail sector and 10% of the health and social sector in Europe. In the Middle East, the percentage of Indian workforce in the construction sector is 41% followed by 32% in the retail sector and 11 % and 9% respectively in the domestic work and manufacturing sectors,” said a second functionary.
The other sectors that are expected to attract investment are mega retail estate projects, building infrastructure, financial services, social sector, tourism and hospitality and industrial investments.
Prof Amitabh Kundu, Distinguished Fellow at Research and Information System for Developing Countries and Co-chairman of the Expert Committee for labour surveys, said a dramatic shift in sectoral priorities is not expected in the long run and there is no need to realign the skilling process to just one sector.
“The greater focus on the heath sector may not last for long. After 6 to 8 months, the scenarios will revert to what it was pre-pandemic. There is a need to focus on the unorganised sector, that should get a fair deal,” he said.
The National Skill Development Corporation that comes under the ministry has signed memorandum of understanding with eight countries, including Japan, UAE, Sweden, and Russia, for cooperation in the field of vocational education and training.