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Sri Lanka all set to send more skilled labourers to GCC

By Kabeer Yousuf


MUSCAT — With an all-round skills training and development programme and a well-defined foreign employment policy, Sri Lanka is all set to send more skilled and semi-skilled workforce to the Sultanate of Oman and other countries in the region, according to its minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Dilan Perera (pictured).


During his short visit to Oman that wrapped up yesterday, the minister told that that there is a new awakening among the various classes of workforce in the island country after three decades of uncertainty.


“We are all set to send in more labour force to the Gulf countries as more and more young men and women are acquiring government-sponsored and certified necessary training and development programmes to various skills. The labour force from our country is reasonable and highly productive”, he said on the sidelines of the meeting with recruiting agents and other potential employers in Muscat under the banner of ‘Employment Promotion Roadshow’ organized by the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare of Sri Lanka and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Sultanate of Oman yesterday.


Over the years, the country that boasts of 94.2 per cent literacy has earned a reputation of a major source of trainable, reliable, loyal and costeffective manpower to various industries including domestic help and care taking. In 2011 alone, this south Asian country has sent 262,960 of its citizens to this region against 231,290 in 2005.


A whopping 33 per cent of its foreign exchange is from the migrant labour force contributing to as much as eight per cent of the country’s GDP and the intensive training and soft skill training are expected to give this figure a major fillip, according to him.


“These migrant workers are the highest revenue earners for the country and contribute significantly towards the national economic equilibrium”.


The training and development courses are manifold. Set against the target of departure date, an all-inclusive, practical training is imparted to each and every individual who has been recruited by the agency.


The areas covered include domestic house keeping, handling domestic appliances, Arabic food preparation, child care, nursing of the sick and disabled, safety awareness techniques, personal health and cleanliness, physical training programme, adjustment to the foreign environment, first aid, Arabic language and other country specific linguistic training programmes, and counselling and personality development.


 “The Sultanate of Oman and Sri Lanka share a code of brotherhood and we are expecting to explore further areas of co-operation in terms of more job opportunities and other areas of interest”, Asoka Girihagama, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the country said.


 This land of greenery has earned an additional 47 per cent from its tourism industry compared to the last year owing to the increased number of visitors.