After a near-dormant existence for over three decades, the Kerala
government has decided to reactivate its overseas recruitment
consultancy to tap the lucrative market, Labour Minister Shibu
Baby John has said.
"Recruitment of nurses, engineering professionals in various
fields is a gold mine for the numerous private sector recruitment
agencies that do roaring business," John said, after unveiling the
draft policy of the state's Labour Department.
"We have decided to fully utilise this segment. For that, we will
start a dialogue with various Indian embassies, especially in the
Middle East to see that all government job requirements are routed
through this agency," John, an engineer by training, told IANS.
Formed over three decades ago, the Employment Promotional
Consultants Ltd has managed to place a mere 6,100 candidates
abroad, despite the state being a major recruitment ground for
According to the Centre for Development Studies here, 2.1 million Keralites work abroad with close to 85 percent in the Middle East
alone. They also account for a major portion of inward remittances
to India valued at around $57 billion by the World Bank.
The previous government, under then chief minister V.S.
Achuthanandan, had taken some initiatives for the agency
especially with respect to recruitments in the Middle East, but
the project did not get the desired results.
Private agencies, on the other hand, make a killing. For placing a
nurse overseas, for instance, they charge over Rs.1 lakh for a
such recruitment to any of the countries in the Middle East.
"An area we will look into is the huge requirement of nurses in
Australia, New Zealand and European countries. We will soon set
the ball rolling for that also, because here also it is the
private sector makes a killing," John said.
"We will look for new avenues and these countries have got huge
The Centre for Development Studies says 15 percent of the migrants
from Kerala are women and a huge majority of them are nurses.
Women also account for 20 percent of the annual inward
remittances, and here again nurses contribute the most.
The state labour minister is accordingly determined to break the
barrier and ensure that the state-owned agency does what the
private recruitment firms have been doing for many years now.
"We will also take up this issue with the central government."
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