Government to offer free skill tests for returning migrant workersThe move will help workers who scramble for jobs when they return home, officials say.
The government is planning to conduct free skill tests for returnee migrant workers to certify the skills they have gained while working on foreign employment.
The Foreign Employment Board will be conducting the tests targeting returnee migrant workers, who often scramble for jobs upon returning home even when they possess specific skills.
“Migrant workers return home with a certain set of skills but without certification, they end up jobless. The objective of skill tests is to validate and rate their occupational skills,” Din Bandhu Subedi, spokesperson for the board, told the Post.
“The tests are open to all migrant workers who are back home now,” he added.
Applications for the tests, which will be conducted by the National Skill Testing Board under the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training, will be collected from all seven provinces before December 27.
Providing skills verification is one of the measures the government agencies try to reverse the outflow of Nepali workers to Arab-Gulf countries and Malaysia where they work under unsafe working environment for meagre remunerations.
Even when they return with skills, lack of proper verification of their skills makes it harder for them to get a job in the country.
“When their skills are certified, they become trained and qualified human resources for the country,” Subedi said. “Once they have the certificate, they can easily apply for similar jobs here and earn decent money. This way, we can also retain migrant workers.” Similar skill tests and verification programme were organised in all provinces last year. However, the response was not very encouraging.
According to Subedi, 584 youths had applied for the tests and little over 400 of them actually took the tests. Among those who took the tests, 126 passed and got their skill certificates.
The board has also announced free skill training to unskilled and unemployed youths.
As per the plan unveiled by the board in October, the month-long training would be provided in as many as 19 different fields.
To retain returnee migrant workers and create opportunities for them at home, the government had recently made some crucial revisions in the policy that offers, among others, interest-subsidised loans to returnee migrant workers.
The lack of job opportunities and financial resources required to start any enterprise at home has forced returnee migrant workers to go back on foreign employment, giving continuity to circular migration—a trend in which migrant workers continue migrating abroad.
The government plans to stem circular migration through policy changes.
“Policies are becoming flexible and helpful to assist migrant workers to start their own enterprises and get skills certified,” Subedi said. “Now there is Labour Information Centre in all 753 local levels. Their job is not merely collecting information but also generating jobs for unemployed youths at the local level.”