Months after an unprecedented pandemic-induced lockdown snatched their jobs and began an exodus to their hometowns, raising concerns over their employment and survival, about three lakh migrant workers have started skill training under a central government initiative.
The workers, who belong to 116 districts across Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Bihar, and Jharkhand are training under centrally-sponsored and centrally-managed component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 2016-2020.
According to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the initiative aims at empowering migrant workers and rural population in post-COVID-19 era through demand-driven skilling and orientation under the PMKVY, the ministry said on Thursday.
The programme will be rolled out in these districts within 125 days while in some parts of the districts training has already begun. It’s being executed by National Skill Development Corporation through the existing training providers and project implementing agencies.
Among three lakh workers, half are being trained under short-term training programme, while another 1.5 lakh migrant workers are slated to be certified under the recognition of prior learning scheme.
Demand aggregation for local jobs in these districts as well as the mobilisation of returnee migrants for the purpose of training are being done by the district administrations.
Job roles that are in demand across the six states include assistant electrician, tailor, retail sales associate, customer care executive (call centre), sewing machine operator and general duty assistant, among others.
The pandemic-induced lockdown, which came into force from March 25, saw the closing of trade hubs across the country leaving lakhs of workers jobless. With no job and all savings utilised, many of the migrant workers began walking home, triggering an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the country.
The Centre has launched multiple schemes to help the labourers, including free ration, to help tide over the pandemic and lockdown crises.
(With inputs from agencies)