Feature : Indian Council of Overseas Employment

Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs Government of India  

Indian Council of Overseas Employment is a strategic Think Tank on matters related to overseas employment markets for Indians and overseas Indian workers. It functions directly under the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs

In a rapidly globalizing world characterized by competition amongst the labour-sending countries for optimizing benefits from international labour migration, there is a need to bring a strategic dimension to the process of emigration of Indians in search of employment. There is also a need to forge partnerships that will best serve India as a supplier of skilled and trained manpower and meet the expectations of the Overseas Indian Workers (OIW) as a significant constituency across the world.

Towards these ends, in July 2008, the Indian Council for Overseas Employment (ICOE) was registered under the Society Registration Act. As a think tank for the Indian Government, it is expected to provide an impetus to informed policy making on international migration related matters. The MOIA will also involve the ICOE in conducting studies and market research to support skill up-gradation initiatives.

Says Mr Vayalar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, “The ICOE will probe into different employment opportunities in different parts of the world for both Indians and overseas Indians.”

The ICOE has three clear mandates:
· Promotion of overseas employment
· Better protection and welfare of overseas Indian workers
· Study of emerging overseas employment opportunities

Main Objectives
The main objectives of the ICOE include:

· To serve as a Think Tank, to devise and execute medium to long term strategies for promoting overseas employment of Indians.

· To regularly monitor, study and analyze the trends in International labor markets as well as strategies of various labor sending and labor receiving countries.

· To develop and sustain a national strategy to be globally competitive as a labor supplier.

· To commission studies on International labor market and identify emerging overseas employment opportunities for Indian youth.

· To position potential Overseas Indian Workers as “consumers” of employment services provided by the private recruitment industry.

· To project India as a supplier of skilled, trained and qualified workers.

· To adapt training material developed by International Labor Organization and International Organization for Migration for specific states / country and gender.

· To administer need based welfare schemes for overseas Indian workers.

· To create resources to gain a better understanding of existing and emerging opportunities for overseas employment, to develop and deploy appropriate strategies and decision making tools that would enhance the capabilities of skilled and unskilled manpower to match international standards, to create awareness about the growing international employment opportunities, to provide mechanism for promotion and facilitation of overseas employment.

· To act as a channel and provide a database for communicating with stakeholders and develop links for implementing strategies to address labour supply gaps.

· To monitor and analyse the problems faced by emigrant Indian workers and returnees and suggest corrective measures.

· To establish links with national and international industry, trade, employment agencies, government and non-governmental organizations in order to develop and implement programmes on overseas employment.

· To undertake, support and promote studies and research in international employment opportunities.

· To design and provide specialized training facilities for emigrants both in India and abroad.

The Council is a two-tier body comprising a Governing Council and an Executive Directorate. The Governing Council is headed by Secretary, MOIA and comprises experts, state Government nominees and central Government nominees. It provides the broad policy framework for the programmes and activities of the Council in consonance with its objectives. The day-to-day management of the Council is vested in the Executive Directorate. The Executive Director is the Chief Executive Officer of the Council.

November 2009

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