After years of toil the Sri Lankan male migrant workers has been able to out number their female colleagues, with the former enjoying a 52 percent of the share, according to latest statistics.
In recent years, Sri Lankan officials have actively encouraged male migration coupled with skilled labour and has taken steps to discourage the common practice of promoting unskilled female migrant domestic labour.Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment Chief, Kingsley Ranawaka at a recent function stated that the increase in skilled males migrating for employment had increased SLBFE’s profits considerably.
According to reports the migrant worker remittances increased by 14 percent in year 2009 in comparison to 2008 .
In 2008 the revenue generated through foreign employment amounted to US $ 2.9 billion and in 2009 US $ 3.3 billion.
According to SLBFE the increase in revenue is expected to be higher in 2010 with the recent negative effects impacted due to the economic recession fading away.
From the late 1980s until as recently as year 2000, women made up the majority of these labour migrants. They accounted for 75 percent of the migrant flow in the mid-1990s. Of the migrant women, 88 percent went to work as housemaids.
However the trend started changing with the advent of the new millennium with the males increasing its share from 33 percent in year 2000 to 52 percent today.
According to SLBFE it is not only the males that the authorities has laid emphasis on but females as well who possess the necessary skills\knowledge levels to match the existing demands in the global market.
Migration for employment in Sri Lanka has grown remarkably over the last decade, with numbers increasing more than ten fold.
The total number of migrants employed abroad is estimated at 1.8 million people (Central Bank, Annual Report 2008) while annually the outflow of workers is about 250,000 people.