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Preference for state manpower recruiter

1 March 2013 - Financial Express, Dhaka. Bahrain has agreed to recruit Bangladeshi workers under a state-to-state arrangement with a view to lowering the cost involved in migration and avoiding the alleged unscrupulous practices often indulged in by a section of private manpower recruiting agencies.

Bahrain has agreed to recruit Bangladeshi workers under a state-to-state arrangement with a view to lowering the cost involved in migration and avoiding the alleged unscrupulous practices often indulged in by a section of private manpower recruiting agencies. The chief of the labour market regulatory authority of Bahrain, who paid a three-day visit to Bangladesh early this week, was eager, as the reports in the media indicated, to stop irregularities in the recruitment process that often land the workers in troubles and create problems for the labour-recipient countries. 

Bahrain is not the lone country that has shown interest in recruiting Bangladeshi labourers through the government-to-government arrangements. Malaysia that has reopened its manpower market to Bangladeshi labourers after nearly four years is in the process of recruiting at least 10,000 Bangladeshi farm labourers for its palm plantations under a similar arrangement. The state recruiting agency, Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited (BOESL), has been entrusted with the job of selecting the workers. It has already selected 10,000 workers from amongst hundreds of thousands of farm hands who had registered online at the grassroots, a feat accomplished for the first time. 

The recruitment of workers by the BOESL is important on two counts. Firstly, such a selection process almost eliminates the possibility of entering the employing country with fake visas. This has been a major source of troubles. Secondly, such recruitment is considered a boon to the workers selected for jobs for they are required to spend a sum equivalent to one/sixth of the fees that the private recruiters would have charged them. Moreover, official-level recruitments mean better pay, safety and security for the workers. For instance, each worker selected for plantation work in Malaysia would receive a wage of Tk 25,000 per month and enjoy free meal and accommodation while he or she will have to spend only Tk 50,000 as migration cost. 

The growing interest among the countries employing Bangladeshi manpower to recruit workers using the services of the relevant state agencies has reasons to create some serious worries among the private manpower agents. They are already experiencing a substantial decline in their business in view of the changed stance on recruitment by some major Bangladeshi labour-recipient countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The leaders of the association of manpower recruiters have already met the minister concerned and aired their grievances. However, a dishonest section of manpower agents are responsible for the difficulties that the entire sector is now experiencing. These recruiters have been responsible for causing enormous sufferings -- physical, mental and financial -- to poor job-seekers, a good number of whom had to embrace painful death in unknown foreign land. 

Besides, many hapless job-seekers have been languishing in foreign jails for years for their illegal entry. The manpower recruiters are not otherwise held in high esteem in society because there have been stories about malpractices indulged in by a section of them galore in the media. Neither the government nor the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) has taken any effective actions against any errant recruiter. It is high time both the government and BAIRA took actions to streamline the affairs in the sector for the government alone cannot handle the job of manpower recruitment. 

Source: http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/index.php?ref=MjBfMDJfMjhfMTNfMV82XzE2MTUxOQ==

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