With a large demand for domestic workers in the state as well as at a global level, the Karnataka government is planning to launch a skill development programme especially designed for workers in this field.
The new proposal aims at helping domestic workers including those who are employed as cooks, house help and gardeners acquire standardised and certifiable skill sets in order to better their employment opportunities.
â€śThe Kaushlya Karnataka programme was introduced to ensure that the unemployed youth obtain vocational training. We are planning to ensure that even domestic workers obtain a certification so that they have better employment opportunities,â€ť said Muralidhar Halappa, Director of Karnataka Vocational Training and Skill Development Corporation, the agency in charge of the programme.
What does the plan entail?
According to Halappa, the agency has proposed a one-month certification programme.
â€śDomestic workers can take out two hours from their day for one month to attend skill development classes for their line of work,â€ť he added.
At the end of the course, these workers will be given a certificate of expertise in their field, which they can use to obtain employment not just in India, but in foreign countries as well, he added.
â€śSay one of those who enrolls is a cook either in a domestic household or a fast food joint, the programme will teach them about the importance of wearing gloves, caps and aprons. They will be given information on various cooking implements and how to use them and taught certain hacks which will make their job easier. For those working as gardeners, they will be taught about modern equipment and ways of gardening,â€ť Halappa said.
After the completion of the course, the enrolled persons will also undergo a full medical check-up, and will be provided with a medical certificate as well, which will again aid them particularly if they are looking for employment abroad.
ESI and PF for domestic workers
Besides providing training and certification for domestic workers, the Karnataka government is also mulling over mandating that all domestic workers are covered under the Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme and are provided PF facilities as well.
â€śWe have submitted a proposal to the state government, which is pending approval. If this comes through, domestic workers will be able to cover medical expenses of their family members through ESi and also have a steady pension plan,â€ť Halappa added.
The agency, along with representatives of various domestic workersâ€™ unions in Karnataka will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the proposal and obtain feedback from the stakeholders.
â€śAfter the meeting, we will hold a consultation meet with the members in the union to get their feedback. Only then will we be able to understand if the plan is a useful one or not,â€ť said Sister Cecelia, who heads the Karnataka Domestic Workersâ€™ Union.
The Kaushalya Karnataka scheme, launched by CM Siddaramaiah in May 2017, is the governmentâ€™s response to the growing gap between the demand and supply for skilled labour in the state. According to government estimates, nearly 1.88 crore youths will require vocational training between 2017 and 2030, and the Kaushalya Karnataka scheme seeks to provide them with nationally and internationally recognised qualifications, skills and knowledge.