New Delhi: Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Oscar Fernandes, stressed the importance of creating new opportunities for labour in both organised and unorganised sectors and equipping them with new skills to handle modern machines and providing them with social safety nets in terms of health coverage, retirement benefits and education of their children.
Addressing the three-day Asian Regional Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA) that commenced here on 19 April, the minister emphasised on skill upgradation which has become a necessity for hadling latest tools, pointing out how his government is targetting to train 1million people in five years and 1 million people each year subsequently.
Fernandes also released two ILO publications on the informal sector and re-engineering of labour administration.
According to International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates, global unemployment and underemployment resulting from a low skill base range between 150-200 million, or 5-7%, out of a total able-bodied workforce of 3 billion. The problem gets exacerbated due to accretion of a huge labour force to the market annually without possessing the requisite skills and getting in turn repulsed by the market.
Prof.Thomas A Kochan from MIT Sloan School of Management, Boston, said India and China would be the source of dynamism for the world to come. In his keynote address he focussed on the the ways in which industrial set ups could attain growth with equity and move up the value chain in employee relations strategies.With constant churning in the global labour market and alterations in international division of labour in the face of increasing competitiveness, the question of sustainable economic growth has come to the forefront of academic and policy debates.
Titled The Changing Global Labour Market : Challenges and Opportunities for Asia the symposium will focus on four sub-themes of need for balancing decent work with competitiveness, education and skill training, importance of social safety nets and trade unions and civil society interface.