IOM improves migrant workers' skills
The International Organization for Migrants (IOM) is backing efforts
by the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare (MFEPW) to
improve housekeeper/domestic help and caregiver training courses to
upgrade the skills of migrant workers and enhance their earning
The majority of Sri Lankan migrant workers are women, many of whom
work as housemaids, primarily in the Arabian Gulf. The remittances they
send home are critical to Sri Lanka's economy and in 2008 reached an
estimated US $2.9 billion.
"Housekeeping and caregiving are two of the ten fastest growing
occupations worldwide and there is growing demand for people with these
skills in rich countries. The Government recognizes that comprehensive
pre-departure training will increase demand for Sri Lankan workers in
this field", says IOM Sri Lanka's Chief of Mission Mohammed Abdi Ker.
The training, which IOM has helped the MFEPW to develop following an
extensive consultative process with the Government and the private
sector, includes the development of job profiles, the entry requirements
for courses, vocational training standards, curriculum and training of
"The enhanced training will not only send better prepared migrants.
Their newly acquired knowledge will also improve their understanding of
their rights and protect them from abuses", said IOM Sri Lanka's Head of
Migration Management Shantha Kulasekera.
The MFEPW plans to streamline the pre-departure training of migrant
workers by asking all training providers to adopt the new standards and
curriculum. It also intends to introduce a credible testing and
evaluation system to ensure that any worker leaving Sri Lanka to work in
the two sectors has successfully completed the relevant training and
received a certificate.