Sri Lanka's migrant worker population to increase

January 10, 2012 11:57 pm 

COLOMBO, Jan. 10 — Sri Lanka's migrant population is set to grow as the government targets more skilled workers to be sent overseas, a minister said here on Tuesday.

Foreign Employment and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera told media that the Sri Lankan government has already secured 3,600 vacancies in Italy and is working to fulfill demands from other European Union countries as well as the UK and Canada.

Perera said the government is also holding discussions with several other countries including Australia and New Zealand. Jobs in the fields of hospitality, nursing, fisheries, agriculture, IT, technical and construction are open to Sri Lankans in these countries.

He said the government is also getting ready to send 10,000 Sri Lankans to South Korea after they passed a language fluency test last year.

Sri Lanka already has nearly one million migrant workers in the Middle East, most of whom work as housemaids. Despite the number of housemaid deaths and injuries the government is also discussing ways of increasing these numbers, the minister said.

According to the Central Bank, remittances in 2011 hit 5.2 billion U.S. dollars, up 27 percent. But critics argue that the government is promoting brain drain in sending skilled workers abroad. (PNA/Xinhua) DCT/utb


Comments are closed.