Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India has the potential to become one of the largest providers of skilled workforce in the world. PM Modi said that in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution, technology has become and will remain the core driver for employment.
Addressing the concluding day of the 4th G20 Employment Working Group (EWG) and Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meetings being held from July 19 in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore, PM Modi in a video message expressed confidence that the meeting will send out a strong message for the welfare of all workers worldwide. The Prime Minister said that it is fortunate that this meeting is happening in a country that has had the experience of creating a large number of technology jobs during the last such technology-led transformation. He pointed out that Indore, which is home to many startups was leading the new wave of such transformations. “Globally, mobile workforce is going to be a reality in the future. Therefore, it is now time to globalise the development and sharing of skills in the true sense. The G20 must play a leading role in this. I commend your efforts to initiate the international referencing of occupations by skills and qualifications requirements,” said PM Modi.
Underlining that employment is one of the most important economic and social factors, the Prime Minister said that the world is at the threshold of some of the greatest changes in the employment sector and stressed the need to prepare responsive and effective strategies to address these rapid transitions. “We all need to skill our workforce in the use of advanced technologies and processes. Skilling, re-skilling and upskilling are the mantras for the future workforce. In India, our Skill India Mission is a campaign to connect with this reality,” PM Modi said. He gave examples of India’s ‘Skill India Mission’ making this a reality, and ‘Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana’ which has trained more than 12.5 million of India’s youth so far. “Special focus is being laid on Industry ‘Four Point O’ sectors like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things, and Drones”, the Prime Minister added. The Prime Minister highlighted the skills and dedication of India’s frontline health workers during Covid and said that it reflects India’s culture of service and compassion. The Prime Minister commended the efforts of member nations to initiate the international referencing of occupations by skills and qualifications requirements. He said that it requires new models of international cooperation and coordination, and migration and mobility partnerships. He suggested sharing statistics, information and data regarding employers and workers for a start which will empower countries across the globe to formulate evidence-based policies for better skilling, workforce planning, and gainful employment. The Prime Minister pointed out that transformative change is the evolution of new categories of workers in the gig and platform economy that has emerged as the pillar of resilience during the pandemic. He added that it offers flexible working arrangements and also complements income sources. He said that it has immense potential of generating gainful employment, especially for the youth while also becoming a transformative tool for socio economic empowerment of women. The Prime Minister said that India’s ‘eShram portal’ that has seen almost 280 million registrations and is being leveraged for targeted interventions for these workers. He further added that countries should adopt similar solutions as the nature of work has become transnational. The Prime Minister pointed out that even though providing social protection to people is a key aspect of the 2030 Agenda, the current framework adopted by international organizations only accounts for benefits that are structured in certain narrow ways while several benefits provided in other forms are not covered under this framework. PM Modi said that that in order to grasp the correct picture of social protection coverage in India, benefits like universal public health, food security, insurance and pension programs must be accounted for. He suggested considering the unique economic capacities, strengths and challenges of every country as the one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable for sustainable financing of social protection.
Earlier on Wednesday, Arti Ahuja, Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, in a press conference said that the fourth Employment Working Group (EWG) meeting will focus on finalising the Ministerial Declaration and outcome documents. “In this the efforts of all the three meetings will be consolidated in this meeting. The EWG delegate’s deliberations will end at the G20 Labour and Ministers’ Meeting (LEM), where they will gather to discuss and adopt these results,” she said, during the press briefing organised on the eve of the meeting. Ahuja told media persons that India is also keeping innovations like e-Shram portal before the working group meetings. Through this portal, complete information about the workers of unorganised sectors is available with the government, which proves helpful for taking steps towards benefitting their and their families’ interests. Earlier, Rupesh Kumar Thakur, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment informed through a presentation that while 86 delegates are participating in the 4th EWG meeting, 165 delegates including 24 Ministers will participate in the meeting. Heads of international organizations and employers’ associations, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank, will also attend the meeting. (ANI)