Over 300 foreign employment agencies vie for Excellence Awards
The contributions made by Sri Lanka’s best and top foreign employment
agencies to the growth of the country’s labour migration sector would be
appreciated, at the ‘Excellence Awards – 2012 to be held at the Waters
Edge hotel in Battaramulla, Tuesday.
The event would be jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign
Employment Promotion and Welfare and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign
The ceremony to appreciate the productivity of the employment agents
is organised under the guidance of Foreign Employment and Welfare
Minister Perera and under the directions of SLBFE chairman Amal
In 2009, the SLBFE with the help of SLSI introduced a grading system
to identify and appreciate the best performing agencies. The intention
of the programme was to give due recognition to agencies performing well
by encouraging business in the way of rewards and appreciation.
Agencies were graded on a points based system, based on criteria
,such as, recruitment, dispute settlement, new visas, ratio between job
orders and departures, payment of tax, renewal of licences, legal cases,
complaints etc. with the points been upgraded annually. Accordingly, the
SLBFE says that there are 303 agencies in contention for awards in 2012
out of over 800 under four categories.
According to the SLBFE, Sri Lanka is one of the most famous countries
for labour supply to the global market.
Compared to the other countries in the region, Sri Lanka has the
highest literacy rate and the people have gained a reputation for being
very skillful, loyal and trustworthy.
Thus the SLBFE says that their role is to harness this potential and
to find new vistas, specially in the skilled labour category and also
the introduction of new destinations.
In this regard, the SLBFE says that the recruitment agencies
contribution is much appreciated and that they as the national regulator
is ever ready to help them in every way possible.
The SLBFE in recent times initiated a number of programmes with the
highest state patronage to appreciate the migrant workers contribution
to the national economy. One such event was the initiative to
commemorate Migrant Day on December 18, with a large umber of programmes
beneficial for migrant workers and their families. It is estimated that
over 1.7 million Sri Lankans work outside the country and have remitted
approximately US $ 4.1 Billion in 2010.
This remittance income is by far the highest foreign exchange earner
for Sri Lanka, providing 33 percent of her foreign exchange which
amounts to 8 percent of Sri Lanka’s GDP.
Consequently, the total workers’ remittances in 2011 exceeded an
unprecedented US $ 5.0 billion. Foreign Employment and Welfare Minister
Dilan Perera says “All our efforts are towards ensuring a labour
migration process that adheres to principles of good governance and
rights for all men and women to engage in decent and productive
employment abroad in conditions of freedom, dignity, security and
‘In the Mahinda Chinthana policy programme of President Mahinda
Rajapaksa, the need to promote and improve the image of Sri Lanka as a
source country that provide high calibre professional and technical and
skilled personnel in specialized fields, such as, nursing, nautical
services, accountancy, IT, banking and engineering has been clearly
envisioned”, the minister said.
‘The ministry accordingly has set its target on becoming the best
provider of professional, technical and skilled manpower to the global
market and foreign exchange earnings of US $ 10.0 Billion in 2015” he