Thursday, 21 June 2012

Sri Lanka still determined to end migration of its domestic workers

Foreign employment authorities believe that by 2025, they could bring a complete halt to females leaving Sri Lankan shores to work as housemaids. 

The means of achieving this would be to discourage them going for such jobs and encourage them to find more gainful employment in skilled professions in Sri Lanka.
"We do not approve females going for overseas work as domestic aides. However, we cannot put a full stop to it immediately. Therefore, we have launched a number of programmes to upgrade their skills and find more gainful employment in specialized vocations," Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment chairman Amal Senalankadikara said. 

A few years back the number of migrant house maids constituted around 80 percent of the total Sri Lankan migrant worker population. However according to latest figures this has dropped to around 40 percent.
In 2011 out of 262,960 Sri Lankan workers who went abroad 107,816 were housemaids.
For a long time many have voiced concern about females going abroad to work as domestic aides. They believe that although these workers have earned billions of rupees, their migration abroad has caused social degeneration. 

Already the SLBFE has launched a number of training programmes for prospective migrant workers in specialized vocations.
They also plan to make National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) level 3 compulsory for Sri Lankans seeking skilled jobs abroad, from September 01st onwards. 

Foreign Employment Minister Dilan Perera recently said aspiring migrant workers need to acquire NVQ certificate Level 3 qualifications or above, to prove their skill levels. Also the authorities are adopting a job specific, country specific, company specific strategy in training workers according to specific requirements.
"The SLBFE is also planning on improving foreign language proficiency of overseas job seekers. They are in the process of recruiting teachers to teach languages including foreign professionals," the SLBFE chairman said. "Some of the employment avenues the SLBFE is currently looking to promote among Lankan females instead of the house maid profession are employment in hospitality industry, health, sales, house keeping, and industries," he said. 

"An agreement has already been signed with international partners to establish an internationally accredited nurses training school and a hospital to train health sector workers. They are seeking local and foreign expertise in training manpower in other fields as well," he said.
Sri Lankan migrant worker population numbering close to 1.8 million at present is the country's highest foreign revenue earners. Their remittances in 2011 exceeded US $ 5 billion. The annual outflow of workers from Sri Lanka is around 250,000.

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