The labour and employment department of the Gujarat government on Wednesday said it provided 16,081 jobs during the lockdown, even as industries struggled to reopen and the state witnessed a mass exodus of migrant workforce.
These jobs provided between April and June 2020 includes over 4,500 jobs provided through 93 online job fairs and 11,495 jobs through employment exchanges, stated a release quoting state government officials here on Wednesday.
“These are all blue-collared jobs with monthly salary ranging between Rs 8,000 and 16,000… For the labour which has gone out (left for native states due to Covid), we are now finding replacement and re-skilling local people. It is opening opportunities for local Gujaratis to get jobs and so we are taking advantage of that situation,” Vipul Mittra, additional chief secretary, Labour and Employment department, told The Indian Express.
The state government managed to provide these jobs even as 15.18 lakh migrant workers left the state by 1,017 Shramik trains between May 2 and 31, 2020. According to Mittra, the new jobs provided between April and June were largely in the MSME sector. After the lockdown was implemented towards the end of March, the first relaxation allowing industries to reopen was given only on April 20.
This data from the state government comes four days after it claimed that 883-odd jobs with monthly salaries ranging between Rs 9,000-16,000 were provided through “tele-interviews” conducted by the employment department’s office in Ahmedabad between April and June.
Though the district-wise break-up of 11,495 jobs provided through employment exchanges across the state was not provided, the data of online job fairs show that the highest number of jobs were provided in Ahmedabad at 917. Gandhinagar followed with 488 jobs, Gir-Somnath with 260 and Bhavnagar with 239 jobs.
Surat and Valsad having large industrial clusters of diamond, textiles and chemical industries were among the districts that recorded lower number with 30 and 85 jobs respectively during the three-month period.
“Since physical gatherings are restricted, we decided to organise online employment fairs. From April to June, 93 such fairs were organised in the state, while three were held in July, through which a total of 4,586 candidates were successfully placed… In all, 16,081 candidates were placed in just over three months. This is a praiseworthy number considering that many industries and businesses were closed for several weeks in this period,” Mittra was quoted in the official release.
Stating that employment generation has been the state government’s top priority over the years, Mittra said it was the reason for Gujarat being ranked as the state with the lowest unemployment rate of 3.4% in a recent survey.
Official data from the Gujarat government show that employment exchanges placed 3.55 lakh candidates in 2017-18, 3.67 lakh in 2018-19, and 3.51 lakh in 2019-10. In 2017-18, over 2.11 lakh candidates were placed through employment fairs. The numbers were 2.30 lakh and 2.11 lakh in 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively.
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