8 lakh workers to be sent abroad in 2017

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DHAKA : Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam today said Bangladesh will send about eight lakh workers abroad this year.

“The main objective of sending workers abroad is to continue the present trend of overseas employment as well as attaining the government’s target of sustainable development goals (SDGs),” he said.

The minister was briefing media on his ministry’s last year’s achievements and successes at the ministry’s conference room.

In 2016, a total of 7.56 lakh Bangladeshi workers went abroad for work. Of them, the highest number of 1.89 lakh workers went to Oman followed by 1.44 lakh to Saudi Arabia.

At present, about 1.3 crore Bangladeshis are employed in 162 countries and they remit annually more than US$ 15 billion to the country.

Nurul Islam said the government has a plan to find out new labour markets as well as open new labour wings, where a significant number of Bangladeshi workers are employed, for ensuring their welfare. At present, 29 labour wings are working aboard, he said.

The minister said, “We are helping to develop the skills of workers in 48 different trades and we also have 70 technical training centres (TTC) for skills development. We are also constructing 40 training centres with 50 more in the pipeline.”

The government has taken such initiatives to train workers so when they reach their destination countries, the chances of them being exploited will be zero, he said.

The expatriates’ welfare minister said an overseas friend call center (+09654 333 333) has been set up so Bangladeshi migrants workers from their respective destinations can directly informed the Bangladesh government of their problem and complaints.

Bangladeshi workers who are living in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Oman and Malaysia are getting this service directly from September, 1, 2016. This service would be given in other countries in phases, he said.

Secretary to the ministry Begum Shamsun Naher, additional secretary Mohammad Azharul Haq and Bureau of Manpower Training Centre Director General Selim Reza were present.

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