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Plans to send more professionals to ME

"Sri Lanka plans to send fewer housemaids to Middle East countries with the focus shifting on exporting more skilled manpower, Foreign Employment Promotions and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera who is currently visiting several Gulf countries said, speaking at the Sri Lanka Employment Promotion seminar in Dubai during the weekend.

According to the minister, authorities are unofficially discouraging Sri Lankan women from taking up housemaid jobs abroad while encouraging both males and females to take up employment as professionals in a variety of fields.

The minister said that the government has implemented various programmes to train the country's migrant worker hopefuls in various job-oriented skills.

"An innovative mechanism is currently being developed in Sri Lanka to implement job-specific, country-specific, company-specific training programmes for citizens who seek foreign employment opportunities", he said.

He added that Sri Lanka is next to China in the Asian Human Resources Index. It is further building human resources, having competent Universities and Technical Schools, the minister said. The minister was in the Gulf to explore opportunities in skilled and semi-skilled labour supply.

He is also looking at possibilities of backward integration in building education institutions in collaboration with Dubai entrepreneurs.

The minister while inviting investors to invest in these ventures said that they would be able to produce semi-skilled and skilled personnel for the entire Middle East job market. He added that the Middle East was in the middle of a development wave never seen in world history. Therefore, a lot of employment opportunities were on offer for outsiders.

The minister along with a 11 member delegation was in Qatar before visiting UAE. He is also slated to visit Saudi Arabia.

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