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Sri Lankans fail to secure highly paid employment opportunities overseas

31 October 2022 09:45 am - 24     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) has directed the Foreign Employment Ministry and the Bureau of Foreign Employment (BOFE) to prepare an efficient programme within two weeks to send skilled and trained workers for overseas jobs in collaboration with vocational training institute.

The COPA directive follows the allegations that Sri Lanka has failed to grab the opportunity to secure highly paid employment opportunities for Sri Lankans in the global job market.

The COPA met last week in Parliament under the chairmanship of SJB Parliamentarian Kabir Hashim to examine the performance and the audit report on the evaluation of the role to be played by the government to secure more employment opportunities for skilled Sri Lankans.

Chairman Hashim pointed out that although there was a great demand for skilled workers for foreign jobs, it is a serious concern that it is not possible to send trained workers who meet the demand. In 2021 this figure has reached a low percentage of 33%. The committee pointed out that this was due to the lack of proper coordination between the relevant responsible institutions.

The COPA emphasized the need for the Ministry of Foreign Employment and the BOFE to implement an efficient programme with a new plan to train workers in the relevant fields paying attention to the new job markets in the world.

The Committee also drew attention to the fact that a national migrant labor policy had been prepared but not implemented and therefore, policies should be updated periodically before implementation.

It was revealed at the COPA that an agreement has been signed in 2017 with the US to send 425 Sri Lankan trained nurses to the US. Among those who applied only 3 applicants got through the English proficiency test (IELTS) and were able to secure highly paid nursing jobs in the US. Between 22014 and 2022, Sri Lanka has received 1.6 million job opportunities from many developed countries and emerging markets for skilled and trained labour but has sent only 37,000 Sri Lankans for these jobs. In Japan alone, there are vacancies for over 1.4 million Sri Lankans in the IT sector but none has been sent.

In countries like Japan, Korea and Israel, although there is scope for sending trained workers, it was revealed that the number of trained workers going abroad from Sri Lanka is decreasing due to the drop in the number of people with language proficiency and professional skills suitable for jobs in those countries. The Committee pointed out that the BOFE should operate to cater to these open job opportunities through the relevant ambassadorial relations and to train workers with professional skills.

At a time when the country is in an economic crisis, the Committee pointed out at length the need to identify and promote these foreign employment sectors as a source of foreign exchange earnings. (Sandun A Jayasekera)


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  Comments - 24

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  • Dee Monday, 31 October 2022 10:06 AM

    We need to develop the skills of our workforce. Enhance the vocational training. The present O/L, A/L and university curriculum is of absolute waste. Very soon if our factories get up and running, we will have to get down skilled workers from overseas.

    BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 31 October 2022 10:34 AM

    Super, now you Sinhalese need to realize the hard way why English "kaduwa" is important more than Sinhala.

    Sokrates Monday, 31 October 2022 10:45 AM

    It will never happen that Sri Lanka, with few exceptions, will be able to send skilled workers abroad. Who is supposed to train these people? For example, an apprenticeship as an electrician, bricklayer, baker, cook, painter, plumber, car mechanic, hotel specialist, retail salesman and so on takes between 3 and 4 years in Germany. In order to obtain a master's degree in these professions, 2 additional years of training are required (In Germany, a master craftsman is allowed to run his own business and train apprentices). That's why Germans in Middle East countries earn at least US$ 10000 monthly. The only institute that offers such a 3 to 4 year training is the Ceylon-German Technical Training Institute. The training is equivalent to that in Germany.

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Monday, 31 October 2022 11:00 AM

    This is due to Sinhala only policy, Bandaranayake and his party was responsible for making Sri Lankan nation's education system a mess. Language, religion and race should not be a criteria for growth of a country.

    Rajkumar Nagarajah Monday, 31 October 2022 11:33 AM

    But we all think we are the best in everything in the world,

    Fathima Lai Monday, 31 October 2022 11:53 AM

    It has been an issue for decades but we focus on it now due to the current crisis and the need to earn foreign currency. The first reason is that our people don't have degrees due to university entrance marks in A/L. At least now, those who can afford are sending their kids to private institutions. 2nd the language. Giving a fresher a 6-month vocational training and expecting to compete in the global market is not the world we are in today.

    Rajankay Monday, 31 October 2022 12:55 PM

    Bring back BANDARANAYAKI to make it SINHALE ONLY COUNTRY to make it great again. AND the donkeys who followed by him have done the right thing.

    Chris Monday, 31 October 2022 01:18 PM

    The standard of English is appalling. Even in the private sector, employees cannot speak 2 or 3 sentences. In addition we have this aiya and Nangi nonsense. So unprofessional.

    Hora Tech Athi Monday, 31 October 2022 05:44 PM

    Doesn't matter how people refer to each other if done politely. If job doesn't require good English skills, then cheaper to employ those without. Those with skills, and with adequate English will find a way to get paid more. And those really able will go elsewhere than stay in this failing place.

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Monday, 31 October 2022 01:40 PM

    Today the world is moving with talented given positions, unlike SriLankan racial politics, which failed to give priority for English education, had English would have been the official language this country would have beaten even Singapore, Britain has an Asian Prime minister, USA an Indian as the vice president, when late Kathirgamer Q.C was proposed to be our prime minister the racialists opposed that move,shame to be a SriLankan.

    Chris Monday, 31 October 2022 01:59 PM

    The system should be overhauled since even our vocational training is far far below standards. Case of point NVQ 4 qualifications where people have no clue about their respective jobs. Trainees in private sector are far more proficient

    Punchi Monday, 31 October 2022 02:09 PM

    In Malaysia they like our country basha education brought in education in Malay. Soon they realised that to participate in the global technological world they had to teach Science and Maths in English. Whereas we with our myopic considerations retained language and a rote based learning system that is unsuitable for a technological world.

    Punchi Monday, 31 October 2022 02:09 PM

    In Malaysia they like our country basha education brought in education in Malay. Soon they realised that to participate in the global technological world they had to teach Science and Maths in English. Whereas we with our myopic considerations retained language and a rote based learning system that is unsuitable for a technological world.

    Mizaru Monday, 31 October 2022 02:39 PM

    I worked for a multinational IT company in Japan for over three decades. My salary was on par or slightly more than the Japanese doing the same job. In developed countries you get paid ones ability and what one does.

    Ram Monday, 31 October 2022 03:40 PM

    If some Parliamentarians are sent for these vacancies the country will benefit immensely as they will bring the much needed Forex using all their cunning knowledge in robbing.

    Holiday Country Monday, 31 October 2022 03:50 PM

    More than English proficiency, people should have mentality to do hard work. Always finding options for not working by waiting for holidays to take break. If a holiday comes on Tuesday, people will not work from Saturday to Tuesday.

    Kandy Monday, 31 October 2022 04:24 PM

    I helped a Singaporean company to set up a construction worker training centre with BCA approval to train

    Kandy Tuesday, 01 November 2022 04:05 PM

    Administrator: why only a part of this message published. It doesn't give the full content. Why others' posts are published in full. Be impartial.

    Lamk Monday, 31 October 2022 05:11 PM

    Do not rush on this matter .take it gradually. This can't be done over night . First we need to plan it and at least it will take some 5 years to train professionals in any field . It has to be done from schools; colleges and universities. Do our universities; colleges and schools have any good systems to professionals . How many nursing schools do we have ? How many teacher training colleges in English medium do we have ?... How many other professionals institutes do we have . We can't blame our politicians to all this lackadaisical attributes of our civil servants and Economists and academics who must be preparing for this update and upgrade. We have lazy academic community and they don't plan for our country

    Hora Tech Athi Monday, 31 October 2022 05:58 PM

    All the smart or wealthy Sinhala and Tamil people already knew for decades that English better gives better opportunities. Maybe you think we're still living in Ceylon, otherwise you should improve your own English and give up on using the archaic term of Sinhalese. You may not be aware but the term 'Sinhalese' word was coined by persons who had recent ancestry to monkey.

    SM Tuesday, 01 November 2022 05:03 AM

    AND also realise your lazy inefficient Sri Lankan ways of working won’t be tolerated in developed nations; there are no foreign loans or corrupt kick back to bail you guys out in those jobs. This is the reason the country is and has been in a shit hole for decades, and will remain in a shit hole for centuries to come. Eschew your false Sinhala pride and try to step up into the prosperous modern world

    SM Tuesday, 01 November 2022 05:18 AM

    “But we are perfect, Our Sinhala Buddhist culture is 2,500 years old and we are the best, we don’t need to change, it’s the world that is wrong. We believe all the hocus pocus, magic, and superstition spouted by our myths and charlatans new and old, and we’ll magic our way out of this shit hole”, the Sri Lankan fools rich and poor will say once again, and over and over again for centuries to come, while suffering the ignominy of being the most pathetic race in the history of the world.

    Sambo Tuesday, 01 November 2022 08:27 AM

    Mainly because we have been put to shame by our leaders and they know some people come are running away from the country due to hardship in life over here so even if they pay less the know that people are willing to grab the opportunity.

    Tammy Alingham Tuesday, 08 November 2022 03:01 AM

    i wonder how the Tourist trade is so good despite the nation as a whole not speaking the international language English. How much more successful will it be if every Sri Lankan could speak English as when Sri lanka was Ceylon. Also the standard of education will match that of the 'Super World Educated'.....Means Highly paid jobs.


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