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Unemployment Overseas Jobs is a Viable Solution

Context:

Unemployment has emerged as a significant concern in recent times, particularly due to the widening disparity between a country’s economic growth and its ability to generate employment. The most recent Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for 2022-23 has unveiled intriguing trends, resulting in a six-year low unemployment rate of 3.2%. However, despite this decline, the prevailing perception is that the employment scenario in the country is not optimistic.

Relevance:

GS2-

  • Indian Diaspora
  • Human Resource

GS3-

  • Employment
  • Growth & Development
  • Education
  • Skill Development
  • Human Resource

Mains Question:

There is a necessity to explore avenues for deploying India’s workforce in developed nations, which could serve as an effective solution to address the unemployment issue in the country. Comment. (15 Marks, 250 Words)

Analysing the path of Overseas Employment:

  • While India’s economy presently holds the 5th position globally and is projected to become the 3rd largest in the future, there is a critical need to align the relationship between economic growth and employment generation.
  • Despite having a demographic dividend, the nation is not fully capitalizing on it. Notably, the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment’s portal lists 13 million active job seekers, yet the total number of vacancies across private and government sectors stands at a mere 2.20 lakh.
  • India stands out as the sole country experiencing a faster growth in the supply of young workers compared to demand. Annually, a substantial 12 million young individuals become employable.
  • This distinguishes India from developed nations like the USA, Japan, and Germany, which contend with middle-aged or elderly workforces and confront a severe shortage of young talent.
  • With the young population (below 35 years) anticipated to increase from 62% to 68% by 2030, India has a remarkable opportunity to harness its workforce and fulfill the demands of developed nations.
  • Developed nations are grappling with a severe workforce shortage, causing a surge in labor costs and inflation.
  • While these countries adopt advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to sustain their manufacturing and service sectors, this approach has its limitations.
  • In contrast, India boasts a youthful and abundant workforce driven by a burgeoning working-age population. As a result, developed countries are eyeing India’s skilled workforce to maintain the affordability of their goods and services.
  • India possesses a distinctive opportunity to export its youthful workforce and become a substantial part of the labor force in developed countries.
  • These nations are currently grappling with a shortage of workers (as shown in the table below), and India can capitalize on this situation by dispatching its surplus young workforce to meet their demands.
United StatesRecent data reveals that the USA currently faces a deficit of three million job positions, and the shortage of suitable workers is evident across various sectors. Industries such as transportation, healthcare, social assistance, hospitality, food services, manufacturing, wholesale, and retail trade are particularly affected.

According to surveys conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce, nearly one in five Americans has altered their career paths in the last three years. Of these, 17% have retired, 19% have transitioned to homemaking, and 14% are now part-time workers.

Alarmingly, 24% of respondents believe that government aid packages during the pandemic have disincentivized active job seeking. Notably, individuals aged 25-34 prioritize personal growth over immediate job hunting, with 26% focusing on acquiring new skills, education, or training before re-entering the job market.  
European UnionEurope is grappling with an alarming labor shortage of 14.3 million workers. The European Commission predicts a drastic decline of 96 million workers in the EU’s workforce by 2030, potentially resulting in an unrealized annual revenue loss of $1.323 trillion over the next six years.

Despite previous stringent immigration policies, the Greek Parliament has amended regulations to allow illegal migrants to obtain three-year residency and work permits for specific job sectors.

Consequently, Greece has sought up to 10,000 farm workers from India to address their labor shortage, leading to the employment of a significant number of workers from Punjab in farming, factory, and construction roles there.  
Taiwan:An employment mobility agreement between India and Taiwan is anticipated to be signed in February 2024. Taiwan aims to recruit around 100,000 Indian workers for diverse roles in industries such as factories, farms, and hospitals.

This initiative is driven by Taiwan’s ageing population, expected to exceed 20% by 2025. In a bid to sustain its $790 billion economy, Taiwan is actively seeking Indian workers and is offering competitive compensation and insurance benefits to attract them.
Japan:As the third-largest manufacturing nation globally, Japan is confronting an imminent and severe workforce shortage, posing a substantial threat to its status as a top manufacturing hub. Projections indicate that by 2030, Japan could face a colossal revenue loss of $194.61 billion due to labor scarcity.
Germany:Germany, another prominent manufacturing hub, is poised to experience a significant impact on its manufacturing output, following in Japan’s footsteps. Currently facing a shortage of 2.4 million workers, Germany anticipates a worsening situation. If the labor shortage reaches 10 million by 2030, it is estimated that Germany’s unrealized revenue will escalate to $77.93 billion.

Steps Taken by the Government in this Regard:

  • To facilitate this, the Indian government has entered into 17 Mobility and Migration Partnership Agreements (MMPA) with countries such as Australia, Austria, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK.
  • Additionally, ongoing agreements with the Netherlands, Greece, Denmark, Switzerland, South Korea, and Taiwan aim to streamline the free movement of the workforce.

Conclusion:

The Overseas Employment Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and Skill India International Centres (SIICs) are expected to play an active role in providing immigration assistance and post-placement support. To effectively equip the workforce with standardized and certified skill courses aligned with International Occupational Standards, SIICs must operate efficiently. Utilizing the interconnected ecosystem is crucial to scaling up prospective hires and leaving no opportunity unexplored.


 

February 2024
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