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Only skilled and trained migrant workers can keep remittance flows steady

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10th-Feb-2020       
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IT was not unknown to the policymakers that the overseas jobs have becoming heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia since the late 80s, but the successive governments,  without  making any significant contribution to exploring new destinations, have consumed the remittance-fruits of the unskilled workers. Latest data revealed that the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers to Saudi Arabia has increased by 73 per cent in January this year compared to the corresponding period last year despite the  increase in the number of inbound women labourers. According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), at least 69,988 workers were sent to different countries in the first month of this year. Of them, 51,786 went to the KSA. Closure of Malaysia's labour market also forced many workers to migrate to Saudi Arabia. Oman is the second largest destination for Bangladeshi workers which hired 6,506 workers this January. The country recruited 8,327 workers in the same month last year. Singapore is the third largest country in January recruiting over 3,400 workers from the country.
Migration rights campaigners termed such deportation as 'alarming', as many workers went to the Arab country only two to three months back. Most of the workers sent to Saudi Arabia were unskilled and they were likely to face many problems in that country. The government should declare a 'migration decade' to streamline the labour migration by taking short, mid, and long-term plans. Besides, migrant workers should be gradually turned into  skilled manpower to retain the other traditional labour markets and explore new destinations. In the wake of automation and  the fourth industrial revolution in the manufacturing sector, the demand for human labour would be seriously decreased in the coming days, which could be tackled only by skilled and trained manpower.
As the economy of  Bangladesh largely depends on remittance, the government should focus on skill and language training of the outbound workers. Without investment for them, the return would be phased out.


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