SHOMA PATNAIK | NT
Panaji: Even as the government is trying to formulate an employment policy that will give preference to Goans, the industry on Tuesday expressed skepticism on the proposed policy’s ability to solve the problem of rising unemployment in the state.
According to human resource (HR) managers of companies, with most of the existing industries being old and fully staffed, the possibility of new job creation is limited.
“Existing industries can only provide incremental jobs during expansion etc. The state needs jobs in large numbers which can only come from new units. The government needs to be proactive and invite outside industry to create new opportunities. Mere policy is not enough,” said a HR manager.
Several company heads said that they fear an increase in bureaucracy from the forthcoming employment policy, as it could involve the visit of labour officers to the plants and unnecessary filling of forms.
The HR managers also said that the government needs to tackle the issue of “employability” if it wants to make Goans job-worthy. According to the HR managers, there is a gap between the kind of jobs on offer and the jobs that Goans want.
“Goans do not like heavy or manual jobs. They want government jobs or permanent employment in private companies. But with the trend of contractual employment, their options have shrunk,” disclosed a manager. He added that local youth also need skilling.
Meanwhile, sources in the state’s pharmaceutical industry, which provides employment in thousands, said that bulk of the jobs in the industry is in production and packing, which requires working in shifts and candidates with technical qualifications. “For jobs on the shop floor, we face shortage of locals and are forced to employ outsiders. In the quality control department or at managerial level, we mostly employ Goans,” claimed a pharma company official.
The pharmaceutical industry is demanding changes in the state labour laws and that women be permitted to work after 7 pm.
Speaking to this daily, members of the industry said that they are fully prepared to support the government’s employment policy that is presently in the drafting stage.
“Several states have policies that reserve jobs for locals and it is only right that Goa also has its own employment policy that gives preference to Goans. However, the government needs to back up the policy with skill training to local youth. And if Goans are not available, we have no choice but to employ outsiders,” said a company official.
The government has set up a 12-member task force headed by Labour Minister Rohan Khaunte to formulate an employment policy that will give maximum jobs to Goans. The policy is expected to be out in a month’s time. A meeting between government and industry is scheduled to be held on June 14 to discuss issues on employment.