Kerala recruitment story  1-1693915995369
Kerala minister V Sivankutty (centre) addresses the media in Dubai on Tuesday. He is flanked by Adv KP Anilkumar, chairman ODEPC (right) and Anoop K Achuthan, managing director, ODEPC. Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran/ Gulf News

Dubai: A foreign recruitment body under the government of Kerala will help more than 1000 people from the south Indian state to be hired in the UAE in the next six months, it was announced on Tuesday.

A visiting minister from Kerala said that the Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants (ODEPC), a Government of Kerala initiative functioning under the State Labour Department, is diversifying recruitments and will provide free facilities to upskill UAE-bound employees and teach them Arabic when needed.

An ODEPC delegation led by V. Sivankutty, Kerala minister for general education and labour, is currently visiting the UAE to roll out multiple recruitment programmes and new plans for Keralites in overseas countries.

Addressing the media in Dubai on Tuesday, the minister said more skilled professionals including doctors, nurses, and IT professionals and blue-collar workers such as security guards and housekeeping staff will be recruited in Gulf countries including the UAE in the coming years.

“We had a meeting with senior represenatives of 32 entities including private and government entities in Dubai yesterday,” the minister said.

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He said the representatives confirmed the requirement of over 1000 employees within six months. “This includes technicians, doctors, engineers and IT professionals. We will arrange their recruitment in six months,” he said.

Adv KP Anilkumar, chairman, ODEPC, said ODEPC is promoting recruitment in diversified fields with a special focus on IT and Artificial Intelligence, taking into account the shift towards a knowledge-based economy.

While the demand earlier was in healthcare and construction fields, now there are more opportunities in diverse fields, he pointed out.

Avoiding middlemen, fake recruiters

Sivankutty stated that ODEPC is committed to providing Keralite professionals with rewarding international careers. “This aligns with our vision to empower skilled individuals with global opportunities. The body has expanded its reach beyond the Gulf countries successfully venturing into European nations like the UK, Germany, Belgium, Uzbekistan, and other countries.”

So far, the body has facilitiated safe overseas recruitment of more than 10200 employees by avoiding middlemen and fake recuiters.

“ODEPC supports Keralite medical professionals to find placements easily in foreign countries in the wake of job opportunities set to increase worldwide in the coming years, especially post-COVID. Thousands of graduates in medical, nursing, and other specialised areas qualify every year in Kerala looking for new vacancies being created in the Gulf, and European countries in the coming years.”

Language training centres

The minister said ODEPC is looking into offering free Arabic classes for employees to the UAE and other Gulf countries through its training centres.

Anoop K Achuthan, managing director of ODEPC, said: “ODEPC’s training division, established in 2019, plays a pivotal role in enabling employees to attain country-specific qualifications. Offering training in IELTS, OET, German, and Dutch languages, ODEPC ensures candidates are well-prepared for their overseas endeavors. Our commitment to 100 per cent job placement for those completing language courses demonstrates our dedication to empowering professionals with the necessary skills.”

Anilkumar said the foreign recruitment body is coming up with more such training centres which will cater to those looking for jobs in this part of the world as well.

“We are also going to come up with a “finishing school” which will provide career guidance based on psychometric tests and assessments done on senior students wishing to follow careers that suit their aptitude, knowledge and skills.”

Grace marks for UAE students

The general education minister said he will also hold a meeting of the prinicipals of the UAE schools that follow the Kerala state syllabus to discuss the possibilities of providing grace marks for talented students. The state issues grace marks for grade 10 students who win competitions in the state level youth festivals. However, students here do not get this opporunity and this was brought to his notice during this visit, the minister explained.

He added that he will also look into approving additional batches for plus two (grade 11 and 12) in the UAE schools following Kerala syllabus. Hundreds of students are studying in seven such schools here. The UAE is also home to an estimated one million Keralites, who form the largest group of Indian expats in the country.

Biofuel plant

The minister, who is in charge of the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in Kerala, said there are plans to set up a biomedical fuel plant in the state modelled after Lootah Biofuels in Dubai. “We held a meeting with them. They have promised to offer technical support to us. I am going to discuss this with the Chief Minister and propose a similar plant that can be run with support from corporations and ITIs. Students can help in spreading awareness and collecting used cooking oils to convert them into biofuels.”

Kerala Minister
ODEPC delegation led by V Sivankutty, Kerala minister for general education and labour, during their visit to a company in Jebel Ali Freezone in Dubai on Monday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai visits, recruitments

The ODEPC delegation visited WeOne (previously known as World Security) headquarters at Jebel Ali Freezone (JAFZA) on Monday and held discussions with its top executives on the progress of recruiting 400 security guards from Kerala. They also visited the workplaces and accommodations of the first batch of employees, who recently arrived in Dubai. The second batch will arrive this week.

The delegation also visited companies like Transworld, and hospitals such as Canadian Specialist Hospital and Zulekha Hospital in Dubai for collaboration in providing trained human resources. The Kerala minister also interacted with doctors, nurses, paramedical, and other healthcare professionals from the State to study their wellbeing and work-related challenges.

According to Achuthan, hundreds of nurses have already been recruited by ODEPC to Dubai Health Authority and SEHA in Abu Dhabi.