Rabiul Haque : A new record in worker migration is expecting in the new year 2024, targets to create 15 lakh jobs in abroad.
An average of one lakh workers are going abroad from Bangladesh every month for almost two years. A total of 12 lakh 10 thousand 256 workers were employed abroad in 11 months of this year. This is the record of going abroad in one year in the history of the country. Which surpassed last year’s record. 11 lakh 35 thousand workers went abroad in 2022.
Although the record of workers going abroad was good, there was also discomfort with the labor market. Because, the challenge of bringing Bangladeshis back home safely from war-torn Sudan, the suffering of workers in some countries of the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and the suspension of all visas for Bangladesh in Oman have worried those concerned. However, at the end of the year there was good news for Bangladeshis as the Maldivian labor market opened after four years.
The foreign employment sector suffered a major shock after the start of the Corona epidemic. According to the data of Bangladesh Manpower, Employment and Training Bureau (BMET), 12 lakh 10 thousand 256 workers from Bangladesh went abroad till November this year. Most of these jobs are in the Middle East. During this period, most workers went to Saudi Arabia. 4 lakh 51 thousand 502 workers went to the country in 11 months. After that, the largest number of workers went to Malaysia, 329 thousand 431 workers went to the country. The third highest number of workers went to Oman, 1 lakh 25 thousand 961 people went to the country.
BMET data says that 6 lakh 17 thousand 209 people went abroad in 2021. 2 lakh 17 thousand 669 people went abroad in 2020. 7 lakh 159 people went abroad in 2019.
Officials of the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Foreign Employment say that it has been possible to send a record number of workers abroad due to diplomatic activities with the concerned countries and the sincerity of the government regarding the labor sector. The government is creating a new labor market for Bangladeshi workers. Outside the Middle East, workers are going to many countries in Europe. The government wants to give more emphasis to send skilled workers in the coming days.
In the first four months of this year, 220 Bangladeshis went to South African country Sudan for employment. In mid-April of that time, fighting broke out between the Sudanese army and paramilitary forces. About 1,500 Bangladeshi citizens were living in Sudan. Bangladesh Mission in Khartoum has to struggle to bring back Bangladeshis from war-torn Sudan. On May 8, 136 Bangladeshis were returned to Dhaka from Jeddah in the first round. Later, facing various challenges, the Bangladesh Mission in Khartoum and Riyadh brought back more than a thousand Bangladeshis from the war-torn country.
Saudi Arabia and Malaysia are the top destinations for workers from Bangladesh this year. Many workers who have gone to the two countries have complained of not getting work. Abdur Rahman, a resident of Noakhali, who went to Malaysia in January, recently told Dhaka Post on WhatsApp that there is no use in sending workers if there is no work. There are many Bangladeshi workers who are not getting proper work. And those who are working only pay in name, which is difficult to go by yourself.
At the end of October this year, Oman suspended all visas for Bangladeshi citizens. The government of Oman took this decision because of the excess of Bangladeshi workers in the country and not being able to provide them with employment. However, the policy makers of Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Welfare Ministry say that diplomatic activities are ongoing on the part of the government. The country will lift the visa suspension for Bangladeshis.
According to BMET data, 1 lakh 25 thousand 961 people have gone to work in Oman till November this year. Last year 1 lakh 79 thousand 612 workers went to the country. This is the record of the highest number of workers in the last seven years. And more than 18 lakh workers have been sent to the country so far.
The senior secretary of the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Foreign Employment (recently former) Ahmed MunirusSalehin told that a record number of workers have been sent abroad this year. This record may be surpassed next year. However, we will not send workers abroad in any way. We will send them abroad only after ensuring everything including salary security. We want to put more emphasis on skilled workers, so as to increase our remittance volume.
This month, the Maldives government has lifted the ban on hiring unskilled workers from Bangladesh. This process was closed for four years. As a result, new unskilled workers from Bangladesh will get job opportunities in the country.
The senior secretary of the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Foreign Employment Ahmed MunirusSalehinhas warned in a recent event in Dhaka that no syndicate will be allowed to send workers to the country.
Regarding the closed labor market for Bangladeshis in Oman, the Expatriate Welfare Secretary said that the government is working to withdraw the ban on Bangladeshi workers going to Oman. Discussions are already underway with Oman. The issue of sending workers to Oman is expected to be resolved soon.
In an event organized on the occasion of National Expatriate Day on December 30, Expatriate Welfare and Foreign Employment Minister Imran Ahmed said that the number of workers who have gone abroad this year will exceed this number next year. 11 lakh people went last year. We are assuming that the situation so far this year will go over 12 lakhs. I believe, there will be a record next year as well.
The minister said, we have to emphasize on efficiency. We train for efficiency. Skilled people should be sent. Some of it happened, some of it didn’t. Extra attention should be paid to the training centers. Problems will arise if recruitment agency training is not coordinated with government training. If we have skilled manpower, everyone will come for manpower.
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