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Half of Bangladeshi migrant workers still unskilled

The Business Standard, Bangladesh, 18 December 2021 - In the 45 years since overseas employment from Bangladesh officially started in 1976 with sending merely 6,078 workers, the country has now emerged as the sixth largest source country of international migrants with around 1.2 crore Bangladeshis currently working abroad.

But, over these years, the country has become widely known as a supplier of unskilled workers because of its failure to groom a sufficient number of manpower for overseas jobs.

On average, around 5 lakh people were trained in various skills courses at technical training centres, run by the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) in the past six years, and yet some 47% of Bangladeshi migrant workers are considered less skilled, widely known as unskilled, according to official data. And, as these unskilled expats earn lower wages and remit less, the country's per worker remittance inflow remains one of the lowest in the world.

The average monthly remittance sent by a Bangladeshi expat is $203.33 (Tk17,236), while it is $564.1 for a Filipino worker, which is more than double compared to a Bangladeshi, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Moreover, the monthly average income of a Pakistani expat is $275.74 and $395.71 for an Indian and $532.71 Chinese citizen.



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