The District Industries Centre (DIC) here is gearing up to play the role of an online ‘matchmaker’ by enabling the unemployed search for suitable jobs and the industries on the lookout for employees to find them easily, all on a single platform.

The proposal, according to R. Ramesh Chandran, Joint Director, Industries and Commerce, and General Manager, DIC, is to have a portal on which youth, whether they belong to the unskilled, semi-skilled or skilled categories, can register themselves. The facility will be open to students from polytechnics, ITIs and engineering colleges as well. While this is expected to give shape to an online labour bank, industries too will be invited to register themselves and post their requirements on the portal. While the youth can browse the available openings and contact the prospective employer directly, the industries, on the other hand, can contact the job seekers if their qualifications appear good enough for their requirements.

“We are looking primarily at small and medium enterprises (SME) to make use of the facility, since there is a shortage of skilled workers in the SME sector here. We have already held discussions with the Kerala Small Scale Industries Association and they are all for it,” Mr. Chandran told The Hindu.

Training

The portal, meanwhile, will be only the first step in the DIC’s efforts to tackle the labour shortage in the district. In the second stage, Mr. Chandran said, training to upgrade skills would be offered. “If a semi-skilled worker wants to learn more and be officially and technically labelled a skilled worker, we will offer help, again through registration on the DIC portal and probably through a linkage with the National Skill Development initiative,” he said, adding that the portal could go online this year itself.

Industries have also offered to enable apprenticeship to these workers as part of the skill upgrading phase. At the same time, the DIC was also proposing to launch an entrepreneurship development programme, as part of which training in manufacturing of solar energy-related products and components and help in setting up such units would be offered.

Another major project in the offing from the DIC was to set up a cluster of SMEs, primarily from the light engineering sector. A recent buyer-seller meet organised by DIC saw demand for a common facility centre for such setups. With projects like the Vizhinjam International Container Terminal, Brahmos and other installations in the State capital, there would be requirement for manufacturers of small and minor components handled by light engineering units and the cluster was intended to be of significance from that angle. The project would be finalised once land was available, Mr. Chandran said.