Muscat: The Indian Ambassador to Oman, Indra Mani Pandey, said Sunday that the Indian government has taken giant strides in skill development and that skilled Indian workers could benefit Oman.
Pandey said Indian companies that helped instill skills in the Indian workforce could also do the same for the Omani youth.
Pandey made the remarks at a skill development conclave held at the Indian Embassy and organised in partnership with the India-Oman Business Forum. It was attended by Oman’s Minister of Civil Services Khalid bin Umar bin Said Al Marhoon, as well as Indian public and private sector partners engaged in India’s skill development mission and other dignitaries.
The ambassador said the goal of the meeting was to share the accomplishments of the Indian government with regard to its National Skill Development Mission (NSDM). He remarked that the developing skills of Indians would benefit not just India but the whole world as it undergoes globalisation. That includes Oman, he said.
Pandey said skill development was a top priority for India and would pay dividends for the country’s workforce everywhere.
“This new government came to power in May 2014 and set up the skill development ministry," he said. "It took up the mammoth task of improving the education and skills of 400 million Indians by 2022."
“Co-operation with friendly nations such as Oman is essential in this task," added Pandey. "Our experts can come to Oman and set up centres for skill development and train the Omani workforce. We want to make it known that we have these capacities back in India. We also want to co-operate with Asia, Africa, and Latin America in this regard.”
“Skills over education”
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) representative Nidhi Batra said India’s experience in skill development could help Oman in the long run. The NSDC is a public-private partnership (PPP), not-for-profit organisation, set up to provide skilled manpower to the Indian industry.
“What is noteworthy is that people in our country are still looking for degrees, rather than skill sets which would help them in the industry," said Batra. "For instance, it would be inappropriate to call a skilled carpenter uneducated. He might have been a carpenter for 20 years. Rather, we can say he is skilled. We could even help ‘up-skill’ them and we would have certified carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and the like who can say we have these skills, in addition to others."
“This would help the Indian workforce and they can choose to apply their skills in the Indian market or take them to markets outside India, including Oman,” she remarked.
Orion Education Private Limited spokesperson Sanjeev Kothari said his company had been given several awards for their skill development programmes. He added that they had sent their trainees to as far as Japan for three- to five-year courses.
Minister Al Marhoon said he was delighted to attend the event, which would bring India and Oman closer together.