Coronavirus | Skill mapping of returnees under way

Passengers at Coimbatore International Airport. Photo: M. Periasamy  

Recently, the Government of India launched SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) to harness the skills of Indians returning home from abroad under the Vande Bharat Mission. The returning citizens are required to fill an online ‘SWADES Skills Card’ available on

As per a recent estimate, over 16,000 citizens have registered with the portal that creates a database of qualified citizens, having them classified on the basis of skillsets and work experience. The collated information is later shared with companies for suitable opportunities.

The SWADES data shows Oman, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are countries from where Indians have arrived in huge numbers, and they had been largely employed in oil and gas, construction, tourism and hospitality, automotive and aviation industries.

The states governments have launched similar drives, thereby covering not only those returning from abroad, but also those from other Indian states, which include migrant labourers. Uttar Pradesh is among the first to have launched a skill-mapping exercise for those returning to the state. Tamil Nadu has started out a similar exercise on Orissa has a reskilling programme for its returning migrant labourers.

The challenge of job creation has to be met to absorb extra labour capital, says Amar Tulsiyan, FICCI co-chairperson Uttar Pradesh State Council. A bigger challenge obviously in states where jobs are scarce.

Real estate is an area of focus in terms of job creation, says Tulsiyan, adding that essential goods market is another area showing promise. “The government is also trying to revive dormant industries; this is possible but takes time. Even if we provide jobs to 25-30% of the migrants who have returned home it will be a good record.”

Anindita Das, COO, e-Fasal, says migrant data mapping is vital, and takes the example of Madhya Pradesh. Finding jobs for them would be a Herculean task, as the number of those who have returned is huge.

She says the government must look beyond connecting employers and employees. e-Fasal, for instance, has launched Karma Sethu, a non-profit initiative to build an online employment exchange platform where those working in the unorganised sectors, employers and Karma Sathis (people who would help getting them on to the platform) are onboarded. The mobile app has been launched as a pilot in MP.

“In MP, the mapping is done three ways. One, employees are connected to the nearest industrial units, but that’s a small percentage, say 20%,” says Anindita. “Two, we connect them with local enterprises. Three, by helping them create local businesses.”

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 12:04:42 PM |

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