Sri Lanka will strive to send better prepared migrant workers abroad in the future, to up the country's stakes at the highly competitive global market, Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister, Keheliya Rambukwella said on Tuesday.
The Minister was unveiling a new training program to develop knowledge, skills and attitude of prospective Lankan migrant domestic aides and caregivers.
The new training program designed with the help of International Organization for Migration (IOM) is expected to impart knowledge to outgoing migrant workers to enhance their skills in accordance with the stipulated international levels.
Safe migration for employment is an emerging hope for many Sri Lankans. As a result the ever increasing labour migrant fraternity (in the excess of 1.6 million) has become the country's highest foreign exchange earner (US $ 2.5 million + annually)today. The House Keeper\Domestic Aide and Caregiver, two of the most popular occupations chosen by Lankan migrant workers, is considered as two out of the ten fastest growing employment avenues worldwide.
However, a comprehensive pre-departure training program to up their standards to professional levels has been lacking.
The newly acquired knowledge is also expected to help improve migrant worker rights and protection from possible abuse.
Minister Rambukwella addressing foreign employment officials, IOM officials and the media at the launch also asserted that Sri Lanka with such structural changes in the future would strive to become one of the best skilled and professional labour providers in the global market.
The newly designed House Keeper\Domestic Aide training program would be of four month duration and those who successfully complete this program will be given a general certificate to prove their competency.
The Caregiver Course runs through a span of six months and successful candidates would be qualified to serve in institutions such as children\elders\nursing homes, child nurseries, rehabilitation homes, and places for children with special needs.
With the development of these programs the Ministry plans to initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders to evolve a strategy to implement the training program including the introduction of testing and evaluation systems to ensure that all employees have successfully completed the required training before such workers leave Sri Lanka.