ALTERNATIVE FOREIGN WORKERS MARKET FOR PAKISTANIS

(Danish Hussain, Karachi)

Contribution of Overseas Workers and Manpower exporters for the country

BRIEF RESEARCH ON ALTERNATIVE LABOUR MARKET
COUNTRIES OF EUROPE AND EAST AFRICA

I would like to highlight some alternatives for our “Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development and manpower” so that they can work on this by pushing our Foreign missions to act accordingly and grab Pakistan’s share in global market. Competition is really tough because India and Bangladesh had already approached to these markets.

ROMANIA
Romania increasingly needs its huge migrant workforce to come home – but with European countries desperate to restart their economies after the pandemic, its so-called ‘strawberry pickers’ have never been more courted.

The minimum wage in Romania in January was around 650 euros a month. Monthly wages for seasonal work in agriculture in Germany or Britain during the pandemic started at 1,500 euros

The Romanian government issued 30,000 work permits for non-EU foreign workers in 2019. The initial number of permits emitted for 2020 was also 30,000, although this figure might be increased over the year, depending on the demand.

CROATIA
According to data provided by the Interior Ministry, only 41% of the quota for foreign workers was claimed until 31 July, In late 2019, the Croatian government decided that it would be possible to issue 78,470 work permits for foreigners in 2020. The quota includes new employment of foreigners, seasonal employment, transfer of workers within a company and employment for strategically investment projects.

This quota was set before the outbreak of the corona virus disease. In the meantime, the COVID pandemic led to an economic downturn globally.

The tourist sector has been hit hard, and while Croatia’s tourism and hospitality service could count on 18,370 permits for foreign workers, eventually, 30% of those permits were used.

According to the data provided by the ministry, a mere 24,539 work permits for foreigners were claimed in the construction and tourism sectors until 31 July. If the number of requests for permits that are currently being processed are added, the tally stands at 32,195 permits, which is 41% of the total quota.

POLAND
In recent years, Poland has become the European Union’s largest importer of foreign workers. In 2018, the most recent year on record, Poland issued 635,000 first-residence permits, a fifth of all such documents issued in the bloc. Since 2014, nearly 2 million Ukrainians have taken up roles in agriculture, construction, production, and logistics.

Poland has taken in 36,000 Nepalese, 20,000 Indians, and 18,000 Bangladeshis in the past three years.

SEYCHELLES
It is the first African country with an HDI score exceeding 0.800, and therefore the only country in the continent with a very high Human Development Index. It is one of only two countries in Africa classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank,

Myriam Telemaque, the Minister for Employment, Immigration and Civil Status, told that a proper structure is needed as demand is continuously increasing.

“As our country continues to grow so does the demand for more workers and what is most important is that we have structures in place which will manage this fact well, so that expatriate workers are recruited only when there is a lack so that we preserve the constitutional rights of our people to have a decent job,” she said.

Under the new policy, it is mandatory for employers recruiting foreign workers to register in the Skills Development and My First Job programmes.

CAMBODIA
The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued a Notice in August 2020 on Employing Foreign Workers in special circumstances which will allow businesses to employ more than 10 per cent of the total number of Cambodian workers.

The decision aims to meet the needs of full-time production chains which operate 24 hours per day. Workforces in the agriculture and construction sectors were still lacking.

SUGGESTIONS TO OUR MINISTRY
Ministry needs to arrange meeting with these countries and adopt the below strategy:
- Not only Sign MOU but also understand their needs of recruitment.
- Encourage Paperless recruitment and try to minimize the required documents checklist specifically from Employer side. Pakistan is far behind in getting European countries demand due to extra ordinary documents burden on Employer, that’s why they prefer our competitors. A serious and to do attitude required by our Foreign missions and Ministry for the above new markets beyond the traditional bureaucracy norms.
- Provide Business Exploratory Visa services to those OEPS who are interested to work for these markets.
- Conduct Business matching seminars in potential countries through our Foreign missions.

JAPAN
After signing MOU between Japan and Pakistan no any further development initiated by Pakistani Government in order to set up technical and Japanese language training centers to prepare our manpower.

Government of Pakistan had nominated only two recruitment organizations including the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) and National University of Technology (NUTEC) for carrying out necessary service, including the recruitment of candidates in collaboration with Japanese counterparts. It is really shocking for me that it has been almost a year after signing MOU between two countries but Pakistan is still not able to at least increase the number of its Sending Organizations.

Country No. of Accredit Sending Organizations
India 26
Indonesia 237
Srilanka 63
Nepal 206
Bangladesh 30
Philippine 274
Vietnam 392
Pakistan 02

Our government should immediately increase the number of Sending organizations at least from each province. Furthermore new dates for a Road map show with Japanese employers and OEP’s should be announced which was previously cancelled due to Covid-19.

Extra Ordinary Efforts required at this stage by our Ministry to export Pakistani manpower to the above Alternative labor markets.

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