Special Correspondent

They are to be equipped with facilities to impart job-oriented training

Employment generation in rural areas is still a challengeBecause of the high salaries offered by the IT sector, the manufacturing sector is facing a shortage of specialised workforce

CHENNAI: The Central Government has decided to declare 500 ITI s across the country as centres of excellence and equip them with facilities to impart job-oriented training to youth, Chandra Sekhar Sahu, Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment, said on Friday.

The UPA Government had made efforts to implement a Skill Development Initiative to impart vocational guidance and training to one million youth in the next five years, he said while addressing the 86th annual general meeting of The Employers' Federation of Southern India.

The flow of foreign direct investment into the country had provided a huge opportunity for the country's vast pool of employable workforce. However, employment generation in rural areas was still a challenge. As on August 31 last year, a total of 398.15 lakh jobseekers had registered at employment exchanges across the country.

Keeping in tune with the UPA government's Gommon minimum programme, the Labour Ministry was adopting a consensual approach while bringing about changes in labour laws. The latest round of discussions among the various stakeholders was held on June 21 and 22 and all efforts were being made to sort out the differences between the partners, Mr. Sahu added.

The advent of globalisation had brought in the need for immediate reforms in labour laws, R.C. Mall, president, EFSI, said. Areas that needed immediate attention were skill training, increasing labour costs and unorganised labour. Due to the high emoluments being offered by the IT sector, the manufacturing sector was facing a shortage of specialised workforce.

The Central Government should adopt a more flexible stand in labour issues and introduce necessary amendments to the various laws in consultation with the employers organisations and trade unions, he added.