The government is in the process of starting 100 model career centres all across the country, to help job-seekers connect with potential employers and skill providers. It would be different from the likes of naukri.com or monster.com as the government is planning to counsel the applicants through online platforms and mobile phones.
The Centre has already allocated money to states for 70 such centres to open such centres shortly. These centres will be linked to the already operational national career service portal. The Directorate General of Employment and Training, Ministry of Labour and Employment, has been tasked to maintain the portal.
“This initiative is going to be different from other similar services in the sense that some due-diligence is done at our end about the employers,” said Shankar Aggarwal, secretary, ministry of labour and employment.
The government may also seek information about employers from outside India before allowing them to advertise on these portals. In the past, there have been cases where the government had to intervene and rescue Indian workers from captivity of their foreign employers.
The model career centres will be an upgraded version of the now moribund employment exchanges. India has a network of 947 employment exchanges. Nearly 44.8 million job seekers were registered with employment exchanges till 2012-13. Other than Maharashtra and Gujarat, where these exchanges still manage to have jobseekers placed, centres in other states have almost ceased to offer any help to applicants. Therefore, Centre plans to bring these exchanges within the information technology platform.
The ministry plans to rope in a number of employers to the platforms. Besides, there are plans to bring counselors on board. The business model of counselling services is being worked out. It has not been decided as to whether counselling services will be paid or free. “Some reputed counsellors would like to charge their fees. It is yet to be decided whether the cost will be borne by the government or be charged from jobseekers,” the labour secretary said.
The emphasis at model career centres will be on counselling of jobseekers. The national career service portal says that “the government is now giving increased focus on career counselling as a key activity for our aspiring youth to pursue the right career choice, so that they join the workforce with better skills for enhancing growth and development.” After counselling if jobseekers are found lacking in some skill, they will be directed to training centres.
At the national career service portal, jobseekers can apply for jobs, find information on available training programmes, book an appointment with a career counsellor, register to take part in job fairs and review the latest employment trends by going through the reports. They can also go through description of jobs on offer and have an idea of the expected salary.
Employment exchanges in Maharashtra and Gujarat have reportedly done well by organising job fairs and facilitating placement of jobseekers in the private sector. The Centre’s latest initiative through the national portal and model career centres is aimed at replicating that model.
The career portal has corners for jobseekers, employers, counselors, placement agencies and skill providers. There is a section on reports. It has district-wise lists of counselors, skill centres and placement agencies. It also provides lists of number of jobseekers in a district and the number of jobs on offer. Skill providers are allowed to list the courses on offer and upload the course content online. They can add more courses and revise the existing courses.
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