New Delhi: In order to improve the skill sets of Indian workers going abroad for employment, especially to Gulf countries, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) here for implementation of the Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY). “PKVY is a skill development initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and is aimed at training and certification of Indian workforce keen on overseas employment in select sectors and job roles, in line with international standards, to facilitate overseas employment opportunities,” an External Affairs Ministry statement said. “The scheme will be implemented by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) through its training partners in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship,” it stated. The MoU is significant in view of the emphasis being laid by the government to improving the skills of Indian workers going abroad, especially in search of blue collar jobs in the Gulf. Around 7-8 lakh Indian workers go abroad every year for employment. Just last month, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Qatar, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship signed an MoU with the Gulf nation's National Qualifications Authority/Supreme Education Council in skill development and recognition of qualifications. The bilateral MoU aims to enhance cooperation between the two countries on skill development and mutual recognition of qualifications to facilitate mobility of skilled workers from India to Qatar. Now, as part of the collaboration between the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, potential emigrant workers may avail work-related skill training under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) or any other similar government skill development programme, which would take place at transnational standards “The Ministry of Skill Development through NSDC proposes to establish customised international skill centres to operationalise this initiative,” the External Affairs Ministry statement said. “The Ministry of External Affairs' role would be to support Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT), which will include language and soft skills training modules. Training offered will also be backed by an internationally recognised assessment and certification system.” Saturday's MoU was signed by Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, and Sunita Chibba, Senior Adviser in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in the presence of Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh and Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy. At the MoU signing ceremony, Sushma Swaraj emphasised that this collaborative effort between the two ministries would enhance overseas employment opportunities for Indian workers, boost the Skill India Mission and was an important step towards the realisation of Prime Minister Modi's vision of transforming India into the skill capital of the world.