With over 60 lakh people employed as domestic workers and an estimated requirement of another 48 lakh workers in the sector over the next seven years (by 2022), the government is now looking to provide skill development to those working as household help.
The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship along with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) are now working on the proposal to give it a universal approach, so that workers in the sector can easily be trained.
“The idea is to go to residence welfare associations and seek their inputs as well. Training would be on the ground so as to ensure that the workers do not have to lose any wages by staying away from work,” said an NSDC official, adding that it was originally proposed by non-government organisations.
Though a few skilling courses are available for domestic workers but they have had a limited impact. The labour ministry already runs the Modular Employable Scheme for domestic workers and trainees, on successful completion of the course, receive a National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) certificate. Some private sector firms too offer training in this field.
“Most of these workers are migrants and often uneducated and are not well equipped to deal with modern, urban homes,” said an official with the NSDC.
A new report by the NSDC and KPMG on the additional requirement for skilled manpower in the sector points out that the need for domestic workers will increase as more and more couples work, thereby raising the need for assistance in raising children and looking after
The move is a part of the government’s renewed strategy and targets for skill development. Apart from a sector skill council for domestic workers, the NSDC is also setting up such panels for skilling in green technologies and for physically challenged persons and geriatrics.
“Based on the requirements of the economy, we decide to set up new sector skill councils. These in turn review the needs of the sector and frame the curriculum, certification and accreditation models for skilling,” said the official.
“Green technologies would complement many of the already existing courses for manufacturing,” he added.
Based on the new sector skill gap reports in 24 sectors of the economy, the ministry of skill development has also reviewed the skilling target and brought it down to 10.97 crore persons by 2022 as against the earlier target of skilling 50 crore workers over the same time period that was set by the UPA.
The skill gap report for the domestic help sector has also mapped out strategies to train workers for general domestic work, cooking, gardening, office assistants and baby sitters.
For instance, while a cook with basic skills would have knowledge of cooking, basic hygiene, mopping, bathing children, one with mid-level skills would have intermediate knowledge of cooking along with taking care of the elderly. Meanwhile, a cook with advance skilling would not only be able to cook regional or continental cuisines, but can prepare diet charts, stock management, shopping and basic financial management.