India strengthens and accelerates skill development plans for United Arab Emirates (UAE)


India’s commitment to the Government of UAE was strengthened further by creating a framework for accelerating skill development in the region. This is in continuation with the MoU signed during the visit of Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to UAE in February 2018. The current framework focuses on forming a Joint Working Group (JWG) to oversee the implementation of skilling programs with time-bound deliverables. This was decided in a meeting between Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India and H.E. Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Government of UAE in Delhi on 16th May 2018.

Objectives and outcomes of the meeting


Discuss skill harmonization and development flagships programs to address issues related to skill development


  • Joint Working Group (JWG) to be formed to oversee the implementation of the program
  • Knowledge and information sharing to develop programs matching occupational demands & requisite skill sets as per UAE requirements

India UAE skill development

While appreciating the progress that India and UAE have made together around skill development, there was an emphasis on immediate deliverables. The two nations discussed the creation of a framework for skill development and formation of a Joint Working Group (JWG) for smoother operations between the countries. Officials from Ministry of Human Resource & Emiratisation (MoHRE) are expected to visit India for the dual purpose of meeting the joint working group as well as visiting training centers in India to get a first-hand experience on assurance of quality and training pedagogy.

In addition, there will be an integration between the respective e-labor platforms of the two countries. With a mutual recognition of qualifications and assessments, both the countries have agreed to employ the best in class certification agencies for this purpose.

Addressing the meeting, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said, “India and UAE have a robust institutional framework of cooperation on Manpower and Skilling matters. Skill development is an important area of collaboration and India-UAE skilling alliance will further help to strengthen the partnership and to leverage Government of India’s investments in skill development. We are discussing a pilot skill project to harmonize skill eco systems between the two countries. Both nations need to work together as partners to upskill India’s workforce in UAE and make them better equipped to meet the requirement of future jobs across different sectors.”

The collective vision of both the countries have lead us to taking on this responsibility on ensuring that the workforce that comes to UAE from India, will have skills of transnational standard keeping in mind the benchmark that UAE follows. This will be a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries across all relevant sectors that result into economic growth of both the countries. We will soon conduct a day long workshop to analyze the gaps that India can fulfill through its human resource,” he further added.

H.E. Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Government of UAE said, “UAE and India have a historic relationship. People of both the nations share similar principals and UAE Labor market has been offering attractive opportunities to workers in India. UAE is not only supporting their families but there are many success stories which further reiterates our commitment towards skill development programs. With the harmonization plan, UAE has made multiple changes in the policy to ensure wage protection, amicable living conditions, workers health etc. and provisions for disputes to be handled effectively.”

Both countries committed to collaborate further to develop an effective mechanism for skill mapping. Out of the 71 skill standards framed by UAE, the 10-15 standards have been identified for skill mapping mechanism in the pilot project. India has a robust vocational training system and 1.6 million people (on an average) are getting vocational training. India has a well-established system of ITI institutions of which 85 percent are private and 15 percent are state government run.

A strengthened MOU on Cooperation in the field of Manpower was signed during the visit of Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to UAE in February 2018. An MOU is also in place between the MSDE, Government of India and the National Qualifications Authority, Government of the UAE on Cooperation in Skill Development and Recognition of Qualifications since April 2016.

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