“In this era of Fourth Industrial Revolution, technology has become and will remain the core driver for employment”
“Skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling are the mantras for the future workforce”
“India has the potential to become one of the largest providers of skilled workforce in the world”
“We must consider each country's unique economic capacities, strengths and challenges.Adopting a one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable for sustainable financing of social protection”

Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen, Namaskar!

I welcome you all to the historic and vibrant city of Indore. It is a city that takes pride in its rich culinary traditions. I hope you get to enjoy the city in all its colours and flavours.

Friends,

Your group is discussing one of the most important economic and social factors- employment. We are at the thresh-hold of some of the greatest changes in the employment sector. And, we need to prepare responsive and effective strategies to address these rapid changes. In this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, technology has become and will remain the core driver for employment. It is fortunate that this meeting is happening in a country that has had the experience of creating a large number of technology jobs during the last such technology-led transformation. And your host city of Indore is home to many startups leading the new wave of such transformations.

Friends,

We all need to skill our workforce in the use of advanced technologies and processes. Skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling are the mantras for the future workforce. In India, our 'Skill India Mission' is a campaign to connect with this reality. Under our 'Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana', more than 12.5 million of our youth have been trained so far. Special focus is being laid on Industry ''Four Point O'' sectors like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things, and Drones.

Friends,

The amazing work done by frontline health and other workers in India during Covid showed their skills and dedication. It also reflected our culture of service and compassion. Indeed, India has the potential to become one of the largest providers of skilled workforce for the world. A globally mobile workforce is going to be a reality in the future. Therefore, it is now time to globalize the development and sharing of skills in the true sense. The G20 must play a leading role in this. I commend your efforts to initiate the international referencing of occupations by skills and qualifications requirements. This requires new models of international cooperation and coordination, and migration and mobility partnerships. Sharing of statistics, information and data regarding these employers and workers could be a great way to begin. This will empower countries across the globe to formulate evidence-based policies for better skilling, workforce planning, and gainful employment.

Friends,

Another transformative change is the evolution of new categories of workers in the gig and platform economy. It emerged as the pillar of resilience during the pandemic. It offers flexible working arrangements and also complements income sources. It has immense potential of generating gainful employment, especially for the youth. It can also be a transformative tool for socio-economic empowerment of women. To realize its potential, we need to design new-age policies and interventions for these new-age workers. We need to find sustainable solutions to create opportunities for regular and sufficient work. We also need new models to make them access social security and for their safety and health. In India, we have created an ‘eShram portal’ that is being leveraged for targeted interventions for these workers. Within just one year, almost 280 million workers have registered themselves on this portal. Now, with the transnational nature of work, it becomes important for every country to adopt similar solutions. We will be happy to share our experience.

Friends,

Providing social protection to people is a key aspect of the 2030 Agenda. But, the current framework adopted by international organizations only accounts for benefits that are structured in certain narrow ways. Several benefits provided in other forms are not covered under this framework. We have universal public health, food security, insurance and pension programs that are not being accounted for. We must reconsider these benefits, so that a correct picture of social protection coverage is captured. We must consider each country's unique economic capacities, strengths and challenges. Adopting a one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable for sustainable financing of social protection. I hope that you would be applying your expertise in thinking about a system that accurately reflects such efforts made by different countries.

Excellencies,

I appreciate the efforts being made by all of you in addressing some of the most urgent issues in this field. I am confident that you will send out a strong message today for the welfare of all workers worldwide. I wish you all a productive and successful meeting.

Thank you very much!

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