The jobless and the employed
Is overseas employment corporation a damp squib?
MUZAFFER AHMED BHAT
Apropos the news item published in your esteemed paper on 02-11-2012. This that more than six lac unemployed youth are registered with the department of Employment is incorrect. In fact most of these people have registered themselves for seeking a government job. The much publicised perception that there are no job opportunities available in the state is again far from truth. There can be no disagreement to the fact that lacs of unskilled, semiskilled and skilled workers from the states of Bihar, Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are working in Kashmir Valley as beauticians/hair dressers, masons, carpenters, sheet metal workers, welders, plumbers, electricians, agricultural labourers and other construction activity. So much so the exquisite craftsmanship for which the locals would boast about in the handicrafts sector like carpet weaving, khatam band, walnut wooden furniture making etc. has also been invaded by these workers from north and east India. The average daily earnings of a mason, carpenter or a semiskilled worker in Srinagar city and other towns is Rs 500/ per day where as an unskilled labourer earns not less than Rs 350/per day. A comparison to the average earnings of a semiskilled worker in gulf countries reveals an average monthly income of Rs 10,000/per month which by all means is very unattractive for a semiskilled worker of the Kashmir valley. Furthermore, the working and environmental conditions are very tough for a person of Kashmiri origin who is not used to very hot weather working conditions in labour camps as is the case in gulf being the largest labour and semiskilled workers destination area from India. The facts make it amply clear that there are enough job opportunities available locally for semiskilled, unskilled and skilled people and there is a huge gap in the supply of unskilled, semiskilled and skilled manpower supply in the valley itself.
The industrial standards of construction and other high demand sector areas in gulf and other destination countries are much higher as compared to the prevalent standards in the state. As a result of which the technical qualifications of the skilled people are not being recognised by the companies in these destination countries. One of the major impediments in immigration of workforce to gulf countries is lack of proper technical qualification (skill set) because the overseas employers ask for skill training and certification from an internationally recognised skill provider. To give a real impetus to overseas employment efforts of unemployed professionals and skilled technical people it is imperative on the government to have a proper policy frame work to address the issue of skill development for overseas jobs. The state must deeply study the strategies adopted by countries like Philippines, Mexico, Egypt, China etc. and must emulate the best practices of Indian states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra pradesh etc. which have adopted proactive methods of promoting overseas employment for easing employment problem back home.
Central government has with lot of fanfare launched Himayat and Mission Udaan with the objective of providing necessary hard and soft skill training to the unemployed undergraduate and graduate youth of the state so as to provide them jobs in industrial and corporate sector of the country. In the recent past your esteemed paper has reported that almost all the candidates who received training under Himayat have deserted their jobs after being placed.
It is an established fact that the doctors of Kashmir Valley are serving in various gulf countries with distinction. In first week of July 2012 your esteemed paper carried an advertisement for recruitment of doctors circulated by various private agencies besides Jammu and Kashmir Overseas Employment Corporation inviting applications for recruitment of doctors for the Ministry of Health, Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia and out of the six doctors who applied, two were selected and issued appointment letters. Similarly out of the 16 doctors selected from J&K by the visiting Saudi delegation in August 2011, none has joined his service in Saudi Arabia. The Overseas Employment Corporation should not be expected to pick people from their homes and place them abroad without requisite skills and will of the people. The fact remains that people have neither the will nor the skills to work abroad.
The immediate goal of the corporation should be to create right kind of awareness amongst all the stakeholders and try to facilitate development of this sector on industrial lines and advice the government regarding proper policy decisions to be taken in this direction.
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Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST
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