Kerala scores another first: An employment exchange for non-resident Malayalis who lost jobs

Labour Minister V Sivankutty flanked by Labour Department secretary Ajith Kumar IAS and Industrial Training Department director Veena N Madhavan at the inauguration of the Pravasi Virtual Employment Exchange in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. Photo: Special arrangement

Thiruvananthapuram: Labour Minister V Sivankutty on Wednesday opened Virtual Pravasi Employment Exchange, an online employment portal for non-resident Keralites (NRKs). An employment exchange to identify experienced professionals among expatriates was one of the recommendations of the 2020 Loka Kerala Sabha.

In fact, the employment director had also submitted a report to the government saying that a Virtual Employment Exchange would help in rehabilitating NRKs who had returned to Kerala after losing their jobs during the pandemic. The director had suggested that the proposed Employment Exchange could identify skilled workers and professionals and also make available self employment and career services to NRKs who had returned home.

According to figures put out by the Non-Resident Keralites (NORKA) Department, 15.56 lakh Keralites returned to the state from abroad after the outbreak of Covid-19. Of this, 71.56 per cent, or 11,13,997 people, had lost their jobs.

The highest number of expats returned from UAE (9,210,76). From Saudi Arabia, 1,78,692 had returned, from Bahrain 45,982, from Kuwait 53,149, from Oman 1,41,225, from Qatar 1,59,206 and from other countries 57,385.

Then, the government had announced a financial aid of Rs 5,000 for those who had returned from abroad. As many as 1,75,474 persons had applied for this financial relief.

The Labour Minister said that the Virtual Pravasi Employment Exchange was created after the director's recommendation was examined in detail. The scope of the newly-inaugurated Exchange will be wider than originally envisaged.

The main beneficiaries of the virtual exchange are: one, non-resident Keralites working abroad; two, Keralites working outside Kerala; and three, those among the first two categories who have returned home after losing their jobs.

These three categories can register online by uploading their biodata and documents to prove their identity and address on the portal

Since self-attested documents are uploaded, candidates need to have to produce the original documents for examination. In other words, they need not have to travel long distances to employment offices.

The experience and skill of these 'pravasi' applicants can be utilised by employers in and outside Kerala. "Arrangements will be made for those registering through the Pravasi Exchange to participate in job fairs organised by the Labour Department. They can also make use of the self-employment services offered by the department," the minister said. The virtual portal has been inaugurated on the eve of declaring Kerala as the first fully e-governed state in the country.

"The online portal for the Exchange was developed by the Kerala wing of the National Informatics Centre," the minister said, and added: "The services of this portal will be available worldwide 24x7. The Exchange will function fully on the virtual platform."

The lowest age limit to apply in the Virtual exchange is 18. There is no upper age limit.



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