Anand Selvan registered at the Professional and Executive Employment Exchange office in Santhome in 1998. The application has not yet led to a job, but he has made five visits to the city over the past 12 years from his hometown, Tiruchi, to renew the registration.

Stories like his could soon be a thing of the past with the Labour Department gearing up to launch a ‘virtual employment exchange' next month. Once the portal goes live, no one has to visit the district employment exchange office for registration. They can fill the application form which will be hosted on the portal and upload scanned copies of their qualification as attachments.

The candidates can register anywhere at any time, ELCOT Managing Director Santhosh Babu said. Long queues are common at the employment exchanges after Standard XII and degree results are announced every year, he said, adding that the portal would “remove the unneeded interface between the applicant and employment exchange”.

Nearly 60 lakh profiles of those who have already registered would be digitised to create a State-wide repository of job applicants.

Of the two application software's that would be hosted on the site, one would provide registered private sector companies access to this repository. “Since a qualified electrician or carpenter can also register on the site and all the data will be organised based on pin code, the private sector can use the information to hire people for particular projects,” Mr.Babu said.

According to him, people need not come to the employment exchange at all, employers would go to them. “Till now, employment exchange was only for government and public sector undertakings. This is set to change,” he said.

All the data would be hosted on the State Data Centre, said IT Minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna and the launch of the portal was slightly delayed due to the integration with the State-wide network.