IOM conducts a pilot training with key stakeholders to mainstream skills-based Migration Governance

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New Delhi (India), February 23: The International Organization for Migration (IOM-UN Migration) conducted a pilot job skilling training with key stakeholders in New Delhi to identify and advise on the required job skill sets for Indian professionals seeking employment opportunities abroad.

The training was attended by officials joining from the Union as well as several state Governments, National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), several sector skills councils, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, private sector and industry associations, recruitment agencies, Civil Society Organisations as well as Academia. The training presented tools to strengthen their capacities in contributing to future Skills Mobility Partnerships engagements.

The focus of the training was on mainstreaming skills-based migration governance in order to nurture needed skills with positive outcomes for migrants, communities, labour markets and economies of both countries of origin and destination. India, as an important migrant sending country, has implemented bilateral agreements, pivotal to the protection canopy which includes observation of labour and human rights, and social security for Indian migrant workers employed or seeking employment abroad.

Flagging off the 3-day pilot training, Mr. Sanjay Awasthi, Head of Office, IOM-UN Migration, provided the context behind labour and skills mobility in India. Mr. Awasthi said, “As skilled migration ranks high on the Government of India’s agendas we hope this training sparks new ideas, forges new connections among participants and plants the seeds for future partnerships, needed to leverage global trends for India and beyond.”

The training was inaugurated by Mr. Anurag Bhushan, Joint Secretary, Overseas India Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, India and Mr. Muniraju S.B., Deputy Advisor, NITI Aayog.

Mr. Anurag Bhushan, Joint Secretary, Overseas India Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, India, highlighted that, “2023 represents a year full of opportunities to set the ground and shape discussions on future trends that benefit India and contribute to a greater global good. Therefore, ‘Migration and Mobility Partnerships’ (MMP) only reaffirm the determination to encourage the mobility of skills and talents to make significant contributions to the development of relations between India and the destination countries.”

Fabio Jimenez, an IOM Senior Migration Governance Specialist from IOM HQ in Geneva, oversaw the training particulars, to focus on how SMPs can become a sustainable solution to address skills shortages. Elucidating on the importance of public-private partnerships, Mr. Jimenez said that “In addition to involving counterparts from destination countries, it is absolutely vital to involve every relevant stakeholder starting from migrant workers themselves as well as actors playing a role at each point during the migration continuum.”

As a pilot initiative, the training garnered concrete feedback from participants that will go a long way in strengthening the training’s relevance, content, and delivery.

Past Joint MoUs, predominantly with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, and the newer Migration & Mobility Partnership Agreements (MMPAs) with Denmark, France, and Luxembourg and more recently with Portugal in 2021, demonstrate the Government’s priority for achieving competitive and most desirable migration outcomes, through a sustainable regulatory infrastructure.

In 2019, IOM launched its Skills Mobility Partnerships (SMP) model, to capture and enhance skills-based migration, predicated on eight prerequisites, amongst which are, migration data and skills anticipation, long-term planning and policy coherence, migrant’s aspirations, and the social aspects of migration, as well as equitable cost-sharing for skills development and training. In 2021, IOM launched the global project, “Towards Sustainable Integration of Skills into Migration Governance”, to operationalise SMPs, which would essentially support Member States in addressing both current and future labour market needs, increase cooperation between governments and other stakeholders, and contribute to better labour market and development outcomes for all parties involved.

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