Saudi Arabia may resume recruitment from Bangladesh fully
Saudi Arabia may fully resume recruiting workers from Bangladesh, lifting a partial restriction imposed in 2008, Bangladesh officials say.
A Saudi delegation is due to arrive in Dhaka today to look into the government’s manpower export mechanism, which Bangladesh officials in Dhaka and the KSA view as a green signal for hiring more Bangladeshi workers by the Kingdom.
“We hope the Saudi government will allow Bangladeshi workers in different sectors again. We have improved the entire system for sending our people abroad,” said Zafar Ahmed Khan, secretary of the expatriates’ welfare ministry.
At present, about 15 lakh Bangladeshis are employed in various sectors in the KSA. Until 2008, the Middle Eastern country used to recruit about 150,000 Bangladeshis per year. But the figure came down to about 10,000 a year following the 2008 restriction on hiring workers in housing and agriculture sectors.
The Saudi delegation will visit the home ministry, expatriates’ welfare ministry, passport office, some technical training centres, and the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training to have an idea of the recruitment process, he told The Daily Star.
The eight-member delegation led by Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Hajja of the interior ministry of the Kingdom will meet a Bangladesh delegation led by the expatriates’ welfare secretary tomorrow, said Emdadul Haque, labour counsellor of Bangladesh Embassy in the KSA.
Besides, the team will sit with Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister.
Emdadul Haque said the Saudi government was sending its delegation at the requests of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni.
On return, the delegation will submit a report to the KSA government upon which the authorities will make a decision about recruiting Bangladeshi workers in all sectors, he added.
The KSA imposed a partial restriction on issuing visas for Bangladeshi workers in 2008 following allegations that some Bangladeshi migrants there were involved in unlawful activities, including overstaying and running illegal business.
“Now, there are fewer allegations against the Bangladeshi migrants as we are strongly monitoring the recruitment process,” said the labour counsellor.
If the Saudi government reopens its labour market for Bangladeshi people, it will definitely become a big source of employment for many job seekers, he added.
Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi Embassy in the KSA also announced new screening measures for recruitment.
Begum Shamsun Nahar, director general of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, said they had been offering required training and orientation to those willing to work in the Kingdom.
“The workers will be trained and educated not only about the Saudi rules and regulations but also about local customs. Additionally, they will take a basic Arabic language course,” she added.