The Punjab Employment Generation Department will soon don the role of a recruitment agency for the youth wanting to work abroad. It will also set up a special cell to send the youth for studies abroad. The move came following regular complaints of fraud by travel agents. "We have paid Rs 50 lakh in fee to the Union government for registering the department as an agent for sending the youth abroad for jobs," said Punjab Employment Generation Minister Charanjit Singh Channi here on Monday.
Already, states like Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Telangana are sending the youth abroad for work, said an official of the department.
Mr Channi acknowledged that the youth wanting to go abroad for studies and work were being duped by unscrupulous travel agents and several complaints had been received in this regard.
"There is no doubt that youngsters are being duped and to end this loot, the government itself is coming up as a player," said Mr Channi.
Speaking on the special cell for students wanting to study abroad, the minister said, "It will have a tie-up with foreign institutes. This will not only save students from frauds but also help them financially as the commission which foreign institutes pay to the agents would be returned to them."
Pointing out the exploitation of students, Mr Channi said of an average fee of Rs 14 lakh taken from a student for studying abroad, travel agents get 30 per cent commission.
"We will give this commission back to students, which will save Rs 3 to Rs 4 lakh for them," said the minister.
He said on an average, 60,000 to one lakh youngster go abroad for studies and employment purposes.
"We will try to tie-up with foreign public universities which offer education at reasonable rates. A thorough verification of foreign universities will be done before putting their names on our portal," Mr Channi said.
Asked about the number of unemployed youth in the state, the minister said the government did not have the exact number at present.
"We do not have the number of unemployed youth. Some say it is 44 lakh while others say it is 36 lakh. But in three months, we will get the right numbers," he said.
The minister said the department was setting up a call centre to assist every unemployed youth and it would be run by a team of 100 professionals.
The government would hold mega job fairs from September 9 to 30, in which 2.10 lakh jobs in the private sector would be offered under the Ghar-Ghar Rozgar scheme, the minister said.
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