Job offices to be skill centre

Guwahati, Sept. 9: The Assam government today announced that all employment exchanges in the state will be converted into district skill development centres and will also act as facilitation centres for career counselling.

State skill, employment and entrepreneurship minister Chandra Mohan Patowary made the announcment at a daylong workshop – Dakhya Axom: Unnata Axom – An Initiative for Better Human Resource Planning to Achieve the Goal of Skill India – organised by the Assam Skill Development Mission at the Assam Administrative Staff College in Khanapara here.

There are 52 employment exchanges in Assam while there are over 20 lakh unemployed youths in the state. The employment exchanges primarily register job-seekers and also collect employment-related market information.

Patowary, who also holds the industry and transport portfolios, said, “Employment officers will now interact with students and understand their requirements, apart from registering their names in the employment exchanges. Skill development cannot be done in isolation. It must go hand-in-hand with the industry department in the journey of making the youths of the state skilled.”

In February, Patowary had said in the Assembly that there are 15,23,531 registered educated, unemployed youths in Assam, of which 1.5 lakh will be provided skill development training so they can become employable by March next year.

The growing number of unemployed has made the BJP-led government in the state push for providing skill training to youths. Opening new skill development centres will be a time-consuming and costly affair. “This way the existing employment exchange infrastructure would be better utilised. They will complement the existing 35 government and 96 private skill development centres in the state,” an official said.

Referring to China’s global dominance, Patowary said if India could convert its population into a skilled workforce, it could become the skill hub of the world as envisioned by the Prime Minister.

Chief secretary V.K. Pipersenia said each industrial sector must have its own skill development centre to improve learning as well as production outcome and called upon industry representatives to partner with ASDM to achieve these objectives.

Additional chief secretaries Ravi Capoor (industries and commerce) and K.V. Eapen (skill, employment and entrepreneurship) highlighted the emerging areas the state needs to focus on like hospitality, wellness and food processing where skilled manpower is required and create a pool of skilled workforce.

Senior bureaucrats K.K. Dwivedi, Ashutosh Agnihotri and ASDM director A.P. Tiwari also spoke at the event and stressed the need to make youths skilled and employable.

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