1. Background and Scope of Work
Skill development and training occupy a central position in achieving sustainable growth and are drivers of economic development in the 21st century. Skilling migrants not only increases the productivity of the workforce but also enhance competitiveness in the global market. It has the effect of empowering people through improved skills, qualifications, and by providing access to employment.
With the share of the working age group population (15-59 years) in India set to grow from 62 percent currently to 68 percent by 2030, India is advantageously poised to harness this high-quality workforce for employment opportunities for India and the world. The significance of this demographic dividend is further enhanced considering the rapidly ageing (and declining working-age) population in regions such as Europe and East Asia. UNDESA projections states that by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over the age of 65 (16%), up from one in 11 in 2019 (9%). These labour shortages expected in Europe and East Asia have resulted in countries to frame new policies and allow for foreign workers to come for employment.
The Japanese ‘Specified Skilled Workers’ (SSW) scheme is a case in point, which is establishing a basic framework for smooth and proper mobility between India and Japan. It provides for a new status of residency created by Japan in 2019 under which skilled Indian nationals can obtain jobs and stay in Japan. Further details on the employment opportunities can be seen in Annexure 1. Reports also suggest that several nations in the GCC region such as UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar will have a demand for skilled workers approximating 2.63 million (in the next 5 years) across major sectors such as construction, wholesale & retail trade, real estate, and rental and business services. In European countries like Germany, Netherlands, UK, Sweden, and Switzerland’s projected workforce demand estimate 0.30 million by 2030 across major sectors like health and social care, manufacturing etc. Likewise, countries like Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Japan, and Malaysia are also estimating workforce requirements (in the next 5 years) close to 0.95 million across the health care and social assistance sectors and construction (NSDC estimates).
In the past discussions organized by ICM, skill mapping, skill matching, and accreditation have emerged as constant takeaways. Even though India has developed robust skilling infrastructure spread across various States for training and certifying in line with international standards; meeting the demand in line with requirements of destination is still a challenge. Also developing pathways for mapping and matching to corresponding job roles and systematized deployment to destination countries have not yet been met. Addressing these issues will bring about a marked paradigm shift in the skilling and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the various geographies across India. Against this backdrop, ICM seeks to organize a series of regional consultations that seeks to outline clear pathways for skill mapping corresponding to the needs of the international labour market for India. Starting with the Southern region, these consultations have a broad objective of creating a platform and an information source, which can be utilized by:
The Consultation will serve as a forum for deliberation inviting a group of experts and/or stakeholders to present their interventions on the topic. The Consultation will be a moderated discussion with interventions from participants focusing on key questions.