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The Financial Express

Bangladesh starts sending workers abroad after months of uncertainty

| Updated: November 28, 2020 16:44:04


Evaly and Fianancial Express Evaly and Fianancial Express
File photo used only for representation — Collected File photo used only for representation — Collected

Bangladesh has started sending workers abroad with jobs after months of uncertainty triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) data showed that a total of 2,464 male and female workers went abroad with jobs during the period between October 01 and November 19.

When asked, the BMET officials said the outflow of workers will be continuing as the job destination countries are now allowing workers. They also are trying to explore new job markets.

Some workers have already been sent to new job destination countries like Uzbekistan and Albania.

But the demand for workers is very low especially in the traditional market due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

According to the official data, Bangladeshis went to 42 countries in different regions including the Middle East, Europe, South East and Central Asia during the last two months.

The highest number of workers went to Oman (891), followed by Saudi Arabia (813), Uzbekistan (524), Singapore (91), United Arab Emirates (60) and Albania (24).

However, the recruitment of workers by employing countries from Bangladesh remained suspended since March as the workers' receiving countries imposed travel ban following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

On an average, 600,000 Bangladesh find employments abroad every year. But only 181,218 workers could go overseas with jobs in the first three months (January to March) of the current year, the official data showed.

Bangladesh sent more than 50,000 workers each month to different countries with jobs before the pandemic, the data also showed.

Manpower recruiters said although travel ban has been withdrawn by workers' receiving countries, the demand for workers is now lower than that of earlier.

There is no possibility of increasing the number of workers soon. Currently, maximum demands are being sent by the families and friends of the workers from Saudi Arabia, the largest destination of Bangladeshi workers.

According to Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA), more than 100,000 workers were in the pipeline of securing jobs abroad. But they failed to go to their job destination countries following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Bangladesh sent 13 million workers to 165 countries since 1976 with jobs. The majority of them went to Gulf countries, the BMET statistics showed.

Migration experts said it is good news for the jobseekers to get job opportunities abroad. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure their rights and benefits.

Shakirul Islam, chairman of Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP), said it should be ensured that the workers get due job contracts, wages and benefits because those are necessary for safe migration.

"The congenial working environment is also crucial for them," he added

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