Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary and H.E. Mr. Suzuki Satoshi, Ambassador of Japan to India, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between the Government of India and Government of Japan on a Basic Framework for Partnership for Proper Operation of the System Pertaining to “Specified Skilled Worker (SSW)” on 18 January 2021 in New Delhi.
2. The MoC will help to promote the movement of skilled workers from India to Japan. The MoC covers 14 categories of specified skills under which skilled workers from India who meet the skills requirement and Japanese language tests would be eligible for employment in Japan on a contractual basis. The 14 specified industry fields include nursing care, building cleaning, material processing, industrial machinery manufacturing, electric and electronic information, construction, shipbuilding and ship-related industry, automobile maintenance, aviation, lodging, agriculture, fisheries, food and beverages manufacturing and food services industry. Japan would grant these workers the status of “specified skilled worker”. It is also expected that Indian skilled workers who go to Japan under this MoC will acquire new skills while working in Japan. A Joint Working Group (JWG), comprising officials from both countries, will be constituted in the near future to work out operational details and smooth implementation of this programme.
3. India and Japan have, in the last few years, strengthened their cooperation in the area of skills development. In 2016, both countries signed the “Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme” agreement for the training 30,000 persons over 10 years with Japanese style manufacturing skills and practices through the establishment of the Japan-India Institutes for Manufacturing (JIM) and Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC) in colleges across India. As of date, 13 JIMs and 5 JECs are already operational. In 2017, both countries signed the “Technical Intern Training Programme” agreement to enable Indian youth to avail of internships in Japan across diverse industry sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, construction, textiles and agriculture. The MoC on Specified Skilled Workers marks a further step to augment India-Japan collaboration in the area of skill development.
4. The signing ceremony was also attended by Shri Praveen Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and officials of the Embassy of Japan.