Our CEO, Raaj Singh, was invited to an ILO (International Labour Organisation) conference in New Delhi based around skilling migrant workers.

The ILO inter-regional expert forum put forward how skilling is a win-win situation for both employers at destination countries and workers from source countries such as India. This high-level expert forum was being attended by over 80 participants from 12 countries – India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. This includes officials from various government departments, representatives from both employers’ and workers’ organisations, key resource people from the private sector, civil society and other UN agencies. 

Raaj is considered an expert by the ILO due to his pioneering training and labour management techniques deployed in the Middle East. He went on to say “Training systems need to be aligned with what the Gulf countries need. There is a need to standardise the system and grading of workers so that they can go above the ranks. The Government should make training mandatory for both destination and origin countries.” 

Workforce skilling and skills recognition systems across borders can have multiple benefits – greater employability, improved wages and working conditions for workers; and more efficient job matching, reduced training time and higher productivity for employers. Several countries in the Middle East are moving towards knowledge-based economies, and the anticipated restructuring of those labour markets is also leading India and other countries that send migrant workers to invest accordingly.

Key findings on skilling in the Middle East and relevance to Romania

During Raaj’s time in the Middle East he observed the need for a proper signalling and screening mechanism to determine the skills and competencies of workers, i.e. moving to a more progressive certification regime that is recognised by global economies. The current scenario in the Middle East is that they do not recognise certification or training from India due to institution voids being in place in India’s economy. Companies in the Middle East are recruiting workers on a quantity basis, rather than a quality basis.

There is a huge demand for workers in Eastern Europe, in particular Romania, similar to that of the Middle-East in the early 2000’s. Romania can learn from where the Middle-East failed and take a more quality based approach when recruiting workers, rather than a quantity based approach. In order to achieve this, there needs to be dialogue between Employer’s Associations and training providers in both the Country of Origin and Country of Destination. The worker from the Country of Origin such as India needs to fully understand what standard of work is required in Romania and what the working norms are, and if this is achieved successful large-scale migration of workers can occur.