Government bid to use migrant workers’ skills

Government bid to use migrant workers’ skills

With an aim to employ migrant workers who return from foreign jobs with skills, experience and occupational training, the government is preparing a financial package for them.

Such workers can get soft loans of up to Rs1 million as the government works on the scheme aimed at utilising their skills.

The Foreign Employment Promotion Board, the government authority working for migrant worker’s welfare, has invited migrant workers who returned to the country not more than three years ago to use the opportunity.

The scheme will support those workers who have some skills or the experience of working in a particular sector, according to Board Executive Director Rajan Shrestha.

“Often, workers return to the country with a plan to do something on their own. However, their plan doesn’t work out even for skilled workers as they don’t have the required financial resources,” Shrestha told the Post.

“With this scheme, we want to empower skilled human resource to start their own enterprises in the country.”

The beneficiary will have to submit a clear business plan along with necessary documents to qualify for the fund, which will be available at low interest rates.

For evaluating the skills of the returnees, the board will soon launch a programme in which the National Skill Testing Board (NSTB), under the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT), will rate their occupational skills and certify them.

Anyone can participate in the test even as the test will be especially organised for migrant workers, according to Shrestha.

“Sometimes, even those workers having enough experience and skills do not have the certificate. The skill test will certify their experience so that they can apply for other jobs,” added Shrestha.

In the absence of jobs at home and the required resources to start their own ventures, thousands of workers never get out of the nexus of foreign employment. They fall victim to the circular migration trend in which migrant workers continue to seek jobs abroad after completing one tenure.

The government hopes to put an end to the frequent departures of Nepali workers especially for the Gulf countries and Malaysia, where more than 85 percent Nepali workers are concentrated.

The employment board counts on the scheme to stop massive outflows of the active population, banking on the financial assistance as an effective measure.

“Workers have started reaching out to us. After knowing about the scheme, a worker, who is already working in Qatar, contacted me asking if he could access the fund as he had not been earning enough there,” Executive Director Shrestha told the Post.

Reintegration of migrant workers after they return has been a major challenge for the government. To address this issue, the government is also gearing up to announce another comprehensive package in the next two months.

“There is a huge shortage of skilled workers in the country. We cannot always send our workers abroad when we need a large number of skilled workers here,” added Shrestha.


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