Written by: Anika Nasrin
The Global Need For Skilled Workers
The necessity of skilled labor mobility across countries has grown in recent years as a result of globalization, the recovery of global economic growth, and the explosive development of information and communications technology (ICT). Migration can be a way to adapt swiftly and effectively to changes in the labor market, to promote innovation and development in both the country of origin and the country of destination, and to transfer or update skills. All skill levels of migrants increase the pool of accessible skills, enhancing global talent exchange and skill matching across the economy. To reap the benefits of migration, countries thus need to ensure that migration is demand-oriented, that migrant workers’ rights are protected, and must enable migrants to integrate into the labor market and society through access to education and training, as well as to employment opportunities.
▶️ ️Why Should Skill Be the Priority If Low-Skilled Make the Majority?
Migrants with the relevant skills are required in foreign labor markets. The International Organization of Migration (IOM) performed a study in 2016 titled “Maximizing the Potential of labor migration through skills development and Certification (2016)” to better understand how certified skills development might help Bangladeshi migrants find better jobs. This article provides a summary of the study’s results. While working in a foreign industry, many migrants enhance their abilities on the job. However, they also fall into a trap because there are limited possibilities for them to obtain certification for these higher levels of ability. When they switch jobs, positions with less responsibility and lower pay are assigned to them since they lack certification of their talents.
▶️ Brain Drain Or Brain Gain- Who Wins?
Oftentimes, skilled migration is depicted as having a detrimental influence on the home countries. Some policymakers worry that skilled people leaving for host countries will take all of the social and financial capital that the sending country has invested in their education and professional development, leaving a skilled worker shortage in their wake. Contrary to popular belief, skilled migration typically results in minimal costs and massive advantages for the developing nations from where it originates. It has long been debatable whether or not workers should migrate from poor nations. Emigration, however, is not just a one-way trip; we can also see this occurrence as a more fluid “skill flow” that navigates both ways.
𝐒𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐝𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐚 𝐦𝐚𝐣𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬.
The term “skill flow” describes the movement of skilled workers whether temporary or permanent, as well as the mobility of unskilled individuals seeking to gain skills overseas. The benefit of skill flow to origin countries is many. Even if migrants choose not to return to their home countries, skill flow delivers technology and creates new companies. Increased investment in education results from skill flow. Remittances increase more with skilled migration than with less skilled migration. Last but not least, migration chances are often greatly improved by skill flow. Governments in both sending and receiving countries must adapt to and profit from the ongoing trend of skilled worker migration from industrialized nations.
▶️ The Bangladesh Perspective
Every year, Bangladesh is successful in delivering a substantial share of its labor force to various nations. However, the ratio of skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled labor is still insufficient. The majority of those skilled individuals are classified as semi-skilled workers who require considerable job-based training for at least six months to a year before working independently since they are not capable of the demands of the GCC labor market. Bangladeshi migrant workers who have received training at skills development institutions are classified in GCC nations as semi-qualified or unskilled.
It has become clear that neither the government nor the programs for skill development are in line with the demands of the market in the destinations’ countries. There is still room for improvement in labor market outcomes to maintain a flawless supply-demand equilibrium. As a result, there is a noticeable gap between newly developed capability levels and current occupational groups. However, the difference between skilled and unskilled labor suggests that the overall skills growth programs are much more dysfunctional than this.
Education and training programs in Bangladesh have been slow to establish successful collaborations with industries. Migrants are often trained by instructors who have never seen or understood the real technological skills needed in the GCC market. These problems slow down the successful collaboration of Bangladesh’s education and training programs with industries.
▶️ Skill Development Linked to Zero Cost Migration- Where Bangladesh Stands?
Considering the vast population of migrants from Bangladesh, remittances are much lower than anticipated. The higher percentage of less-skilled Bangladeshi migrant workers is a factor owing to reduced remittances.
Considering various recent economic shocks, remittance has now become even more crucial and “almost a lifeline” for the country’s economy.
In Bangladesh, there are several types of training courses aimed at meeting need-based employment at home and abroad. However, there is a gap between the training imparted in Bangladesh and the requirements of overseas employers.
The required skill sets not only bring in higher remittance but also provide protection to migrants.
A paper examined how in spite of spending millions for skill development programs in Bangladesh, the trained workers are still considered as a majority of unskilled workers in destination countries.
However, migrants pay high fees related to their migration, which is now more of a trend than a requirement. Abuse of the Skills Development Centers program Fund is the most challenging part of the skill-development process. Bangladesh’s educational and training initiatives have been reluctant to forge fruitful partnerships with businesses. Instructors who have never seen or comprehended the actual technology capabilities required in the GCC market frequently train migrants. All of these deeply corrupt Bangladesh’s skill processes.
This article is 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭-𝟎3 of YPF safe Migration Policy Team’s”𝐁𝐞𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐉𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲𝐬: 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐢𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧” series.
To Read Part- 01 Click Here
To Read Part-02 Click Here
To Read Part-04 Click Here
To Read Part-05 Click Here
To Read Part-06 Click Here
- Skill Development Tool or Trade for Safe Migration: The Case of Bangladeshi Emigrants (themigrationnews.com)
- Migration and skills development | IOM Bangladesh
Featured Image Courtesy: IOM UN MIGRATION