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Ministry of Skill Development focuses heavily on organising the Domestic Help sector

MediaInfoline March 29, 2016
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In line with the aim to structure and organise the domestic help sector which has never received enough focus till now, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs, today announced yet another initiative in association with the newly formed Domestic Workers Sector Skill Council.

The Hon’ble Minister announced the commencement of the International Migration Centre project for Domestic Workers undertaken by Prayas JAC, in New Delhi today.

This coincides with the Indo-British Collaboration for the training and & placements of Indian Trained Housekeepers abroad. A team of eminent trainers and service providers from UK and India joined the programme to demonstrate and present the road map.

Commenting on the need for such trainings, Shri Rudy said, “There is usually a lack of proper education in today’s domestic workers. Some of them have only primary level education. There is lack of recognition of their status and household role. This often leads to lack of decent wages, ill-working conditions, undefined working time, lack of weekly offs, loneliness (separated from family and friends, and children), poor career growth and skill development and sometime victimization at the workplace.”

“We have recently set up a Domestic Workers Sector Skill Council (DWSSC) which will spread awareness and create an ecosystem by involving each and every stakeholder to motivate domestic workers to take up the training and encourage employers to participate in the training. The SSC will adopt a strategy for marketing campaigns to increase awareness among stakeholders. This will ensure that the people get the best trained domestic workers and domestic workers get the deserved remunerations,” he further added.

The aim of the International Migration Centre and the related project is to train personnel to work in the UK and other countries through Capacity Building for Skilling, Occupational Standards, Assessment Processes, Certification, Service Conditions, Safe Migration and Dignity of Profession for Housekeepers through Indo British Collaboration.

The Government of India is keen to facilitate this process through the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in partnerships with Training and service Providers in India and abroad.

The DWSSC will ensure training and skill development of the Domestic Workers so that they may get better wages, dignified service conditions, good human treatment besides, their interests to be protected through safe migration, resettlement and placements and to bridge the gap between the demand and supply of the skilled designated workforce. Some of the approved QP-NOSs pertaining to domestic help sector are ‘General Housekeeper’, ‘Housekeeper cum Cook’, ‘Child Caretaker’ and ‘Elderly Caretaker (Non-medical)’.

By 2025-26, the DWSSC aims to accredit 400-500 Training Providers and provide certifications to an almost 2.5 million (25 Lac) trained workforce in the country. It is proposed to train and place over one million youth in 10 years. The domestic workers sector is perhaps the largest among the unorganized sectors in the country and will cater to the most marginalized and needy.

Although legislation protecting domestic workers is in place in India, the record on enforcement has been uneven. The sector and its participants are mostly unregulated and domestic workers are often subject to serious abuse, including low/ non-payment of wages, long work hours, and bad working conditions, mistreatment by employers and even instances of slavery and trafficking of minors.

Most domestic workers are from weak socio-economic backgrounds from the economically backward states and take up employment within the sector to escape from abject poverty; a large number of them become migrant workers in Tier 1 and 2 cities, taking up work facilitated by a disaggregated set of intermediaries/ contractors. Low levels of education, lack of access to training, low or no career progression, low understanding of their rights and weak bargaining power lead to the impairment of their professional and economic development.

Education along with training to this segment of society will make them more aware of their surroundings and also at the same time give them better opportunities along with respect to their work.

The program was graced by Mr. Ashok Agarwal, IAS Additional Secretary & CEO, Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), Mr. Santosh Matthews Director Ministry of Rural Development, Ms. Gayatri Kalia, Chief of Operations Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushal Yojana, Ms. Shashi kiran Consultant SQA National Skill Development Corporation, Ms. Sunita Reddy Assistant Professor Centre of Medicine and Community Health Jawahar Lal Nehru University and representatives from Skill Development Organizations like ‘Empower Pragati’, Get Domestic Help, Be-Able etc.

The Hon’ble Minister also unveiled the ‘Practice Handbook; A Trainees Guide on House Keeper-cum Cook’ which was developed by Domestic Worker Sector Skill Council, National Skill Development Corporation and Skill India.

The sector will soon see partnerships with State Governments and various Agencies, Training Providers and Assessing Agencies that are being identified for affiliations, and the programs being developed in a mission mode to convert this entire sector in its content, approach and character.

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