For 23-year-old Anjali Markam, a trained stay-at-home caregiver, finding a job in Chhattisgarh’s Korea is an uphill battle. “No one I know wants a stay-at-home caregiver. My training may be more useful in a city, but no one knows me there,” she says. For Markam and thousands like her, getting trained from the state’s skill development authority has led to no jobs.
On the other hand, in Baikunthpur, the Dey family has been struggling to find a stay-at-home caretaker for the family’s oldest member, 72-year-old Mamta Dey.
“She suffers from dementia, so someone has to be there for her, always attentive,” her daughter Sukumari said. “We tried several agencies, which charged a high fee, but some didn’t send any candidates and others sent people with little training.” Several pockets in the state face a problem of lack of skilled workers.
To bridge this gap — what officials call opportunity inequality — Chhattisgarh State Skill Development Authority (CSSDA) is introducing a mobile phone app. The soft launch of ‘Rojgaar Sangi’ was conducted by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday.
The app was developed with the help of National Informatics Centre to help skilled and trained candidates find jobs. “If you are registered with us, you can list yourself on the app. When someone in your geographical region searches for a specific service that matches yours, we notify you. You can then contact them and offer your service,” CSSDA official Seema Kumari said.
“All one has to do is select the services one needs. Say, someone needs a driver and a peon. Someone who has trained in both these professions will contact you,” said CSSDA chief Pushpendra Kumar Meena.
The idea, similar to several service provider aggregator apps, originated during a meeting with the CM, sources said. “The CM, upon learning that we had trained 3.6 lakh tribal students since 2011, wanted to understand the lack of tribals in the workforce. So we started working on this app through which jobs and trained candidates could be connected,” Meena said.
The app will benefit 7 lakh students who were trained under the 705 courses offered by CSSDA. “We have one of the best training procedures and courses in the country. Availability of jobs was our major issue, and this is a positive step in that direction,” Meena said.
The skill development courses have had close to 50,000 candidates from Bastar region, and 65 transgender candidates. The maximum number of students is from Rajnandgaon district — accounting for over 33,000 applicants. “With the courses not converting directly into jobs, the number of takers might have taken a small hit, but mostly the few months of training is appealing to candidates,” an officer said.
The courses offered by the CSSDA have incorporated additions. “Our students now have an option to train in GST computing too,” the officer said.
Students can also take part in any number of courses at a time. Deepak Meshram from Dhamtari said he learned driving, cleaning and then basic tally and computer operation one after the other. “While doing the courses, I realised what is needed to work in an office. So I took up relevant courses,” he said. Meshram, who worked for a start-up for three months in Raipur, now manages a shop in Raipur.
The app can also be used to register online for the unemployment index. “Under any employment generation scheme, the users will be notified,” Kumari said.
The app makes it easier for start-up companies to hire office staff. “If you are a small firm, you can’t pay hiring agencies. So, you use the app to insert your requirement, without any cost, and get the applications for as many posts as you have vacant,” Meena said.
The app currently has no way to regulate the earning. “In the app, the customer can put the salary they can pay and registered workers can then show interest accordingly. As of now, we don’t have any way to regulate or ensure a minimum salary,” said an officer working on the app development.
According to Meena, the app, like all technology, will be a work in progress. “It is a first-of-its-kind app and we will keep adding and refining it. But the initiative is for information about our trained students and services they provide to be made accessible in every part of the state, which in turn will help increase job opportunities,” he said.