The Odisha government’s move to map the skill of migrant workers who returned back to their homes during the lockdown is marked by snail’s pace of progress as it has identified less than 18,000 workers for honing their skill to provide them employment opportunities in existing or upcoming industries.
More than ten lakh natives who were earning bread and butter in mostly unskilled sectors in other States had returned home during the pandemic.
However the government, despite the much-touted claim of upgrading the skills of migrants to create employability scope in the State, has managed to identify less than two percent of total migrant returnees for skill mapping.
“A total of 10,07,330 migrant workers had returned to their respective villages during the pandemic. Of them 1,81,702 workers were skilled workers. While 5,54,754 were unskilled”, Minister Skill development and technical education said.
“Skill gap study has been undertaken under the SANKALP programme of Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in various districts. The preparationof the District Skill Development plan is underway. The skilled development plan has come to an end in as many as 16 districts,” the Minister Naik informed.
The Short Term Training has been sanctioned for 4888 persons in four districts. The Panchayati Raj department has given masonry training to 6612 persons while 6496 workers participated in different job fairs.
The government could not utilize the opportunity given to it by the pandemic health crisis. The exodus of people could have been arrested to a certain extent by maintaining a proper database of workers. As the government did precious little, the migrant workers left to their previous workplaces after not finding employment scope in Odisha, noted social activists here.