Looking for a foreign job? Govt may help you upgrade your skills

  • Professionals seeking training will need to register on the portal of the skill development ministry. Opportunities are expected in retail, healthcare, professional services, scientific and technical services, manufacturing, educational services, transportation and warehousing, and ICT

Dhirendra Kumar
First Published28 May 2024
Candidates at a job fair in New Delhi, February 16, 2018. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
Candidates at a job fair in New Delhi, February 16, 2018. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)

New Delhi: The government plans to upgrade the skills of Indian professional workers to meet projected demand for millions of jobs in developed economies over the next five years, two people aware of the matter said.

Official projections indicate that 3.58 million job openings will be available in 16 countries including the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Canada, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Australia, Germany, Japan, the UK, and Singapore. 

These job opportunities are estimated in a study conducted by the National Skill Development Corporation International (NSDCI), which reports to the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship (MSDE).

“It is estimated that 68% of India’s total population is 15-64 years of age," the first person cited above said on condition of anonymity. "Given this large working-age population, India has an opportunity to create a high-quality skilled workforce for the world." 

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The study, titled International Workforce Mobility, aims to develop a strategy to boost international mobility for Indian workers in target countries, the above person said.

The second person said, “As per the practice, professionals register themselves on the MSDE portal. After scrutinizing the candidates, essential skill upgradation training is provided to them by NSDC. Subsequently, the government, in coordination with different partner countries, facilitates the deployment of selected candidates."

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Skill upgrading involves refining the skills of professionals to meet the specific standards and practices of the respective countries. For example, an electrician or a path lab attendant would need to be updated about the latest requirements of the country they are willing to be deployed in.

Queries sent to MSDE secretary and spokesperson of MSDE remained unanswered till press time.

Experts, however, are not quite impressed. 

“These numbers are slightly lower than our expectations," N.R. Bhanumurthy, vice-chancellor of Dr B.R. Ambedkar School of Economics University, Bengaluru (BASE University), said. "Indians have become highly sought after in many countries, especially where skilled labour is required. The demand for the Indian workforce has grown significantly,” Bhanumurthy said.

“These are standard projections," Pronab Sen, a former chief statistician of India and former country director for the India Programme of the International Growth Centre (IGC), said. "We observe a relationship between the growth rate and employment growth, which may add value to the economy's growth.”

Sectors with opportunities

The study highlights a significant demand for human workforce in the healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology sectors across Europe, Asia, and Australia.

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In Gulf countries, major job openings are projected in wholesale and retail trade, construction and manufacturing, professional, scientific and technical activities, healthcare, and travel and tourism.

In the US and Canada, job openings are projected in professional services, scientific and technical services, manufacturing, healthcare and social assistance, educational services, transportation and warehousing, and information and communication technology (ICT).

How many jobs, where

The highest job openings are projected at 1 million each in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, followed by 390,000 jobs in the US, 320,000 jobs each in Canada and Qatar, and 223,000 jobs in Kuwait.

Australia is projected to have 54,000 job openings over the next five years. Germany is expected to have 37,000 openings for Indian workers, Japan will have 23,000, and the UK will have vacancies for 16,000 Indians by 2029, according to the study data.

Romania is expected to have the fewest job openings for Indian professionals, with only 1,700 positions available. Sweden, on the other hand, will employ 6,500 Indians over the next five years.


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