Dhaka prepares migrant workers for post-Covid labour market

Dhaka, Dec 23 – The Bangladesh government is equipping the migrant workers with more skills to prepare them for the post-pandemic global labour market.

Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad said this on Wednesday during a programme at Prabashi Kalyan Bhaban in the capital.
Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited organised the event to mark the International Migrants Day 2020.
“The ministry has stepped forward for the wellbeing of migrant workers and their families during the pandemic, and more will be done in the future,” Imran said.
“A specialised technical training centre (TTC) is being set up in Manikganj’s Shingair to offer modern and practical skills training to workers.”
The minister also called on all the stakeholders to step forward for the development of the labour migration sector.
Nearly 70% of surveyed migrants who returned to Bangladesh between February and June remained unemployed, according to an International Organisation for Migration (IOM) study published in August.
According to the report, returnee migrants experienced reintegration challenges which included difficulties in securing employment, financial problems such as lack of income and accumulating debt, and health-related issues.
IOM Bangladesh Chief Giorgi Gigauri said they need to support the government to prioritise skills development of migrant workers so they can increase remittance flow to Bangladesh.
“We also need to focus on providing financial literacy training, particularly to women, to improve productive investment of remittances and to build the resilience and financial independence of remittance-reliant households.”
In 2019, $18.32 billion was remitted to Bangladesh, the third-highest recipient of remittance in South Asia.
According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, in 2019 alone, over 700,000 migrant workers left the country in search of employment abroad and over 73% of remittances were sent from Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Remittance inflows to Bangladesh directly impact socio-economic development and act as a lifeline to vulnerable communities.
There should be an investment in education and skills upgrade so that lower-skilled migrant workers can earn more and break the cycle of debt, IOM suggests. – UNB