India to hold skill mapping of people returning from abroad

Aimed at making the best use of the skilled workforce returning to the country due to coronavirus pandemic, the Centre launched SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support), a new venture to hold skill mapping of those who return under the Vande Bharat Mission.

SWADES is a joint initiative of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation. The initiative is aimed at creating a database of qualified citizens based on their skills and experience for making use of their talent.

The information will be shared with the companies for suitable placement opportunities in the country, an official release said. The citizens who return have to fill up an online SWADES Skills Card. After this, the a strategic framework will be developed to provide the returning persons with suitable employment opportunities through discussions with key stakeholders including State Governments, Industry Associations and Employers.

On the initiative, Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Mahendra Nath Pandey said that these were crucial times and the whole country should come together and support the Centre in its efforts to address the challenges posed by the economic downturn caused by the COVID – 19 pandemic.

The spread of coronavirus has had a significant economic impact with thousands of workers losing their jobs and hundreds of companies shutting down globally, the release said. It said that lakhs of people have registered at various Indian missions requesting to return to the country.

Meanwhile Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “when we started Vande Bharat Mission, we observed that a lot of our overseas workers returning to India due to job losses had international skill sets and experience which can be of great value for domestic and international markets. We reached out to MSDE to create an online portal for gathering database of these workers. To ensure dissemination of information on SWADES Skill Card, In-flight announcements are being made by Air India and Air Indian Express that are operating flights under the Vande Bharat Mission. Airport Authority of India and other private airports have also put up banners/standees and digital signages to ensure that all our migrants returning from abroad can be informed about this initiative”

Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said that the government was committed to provide all support to the citizens stranded abroad and the challenges they are facing due to job losses. “We shall actively promote the SWADES Skill Card initiative through our Embassies/ High Commissions/Consulates across different countries. The initiative will help in deployment of returning Indian workforce matching their skill sets,” he said.

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