Housemaids to be 'extinct species' by 2025
Foreign employment authorities believe that by 2025, they could bring
a complete halt to females leaving Sri Lankan shores to work as
The means of achieving this would be to discourage them going for
such jobs and encourage them to find more gainful employment in skilled
professions in Sri Lanka.
"We do not approve females going for overseas work as domestic aides.
However, we cannot put a full stop to it immediately. Therefore, we have
launched a number of programmes to upgrade their skills and find more
gainful employment in specialized vocations," Sri Lanka Bureau of
Foreign Employment chairman Amal Senalankadikara said.
A few years back the number of migrant house maids constituted around
80 percent of the total Sri Lankan migrant worker population. However
according to latest figures this has dropped to around 40 percent.
In 2011 out of 262,960 Sri Lankan workers who went abroad 107,816
For a long time many have voiced concern about females going abroad
to work as domestic aides. They believe that although these workers have
earned billions of rupees, their migration abroad has caused social
Already the SLBFE has launched a number of training programmes for
prospective migrant workers in specialized vocations.
They also plan to make National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) level
3 compulsory for Sri Lankans seeking skilled jobs abroad, from September
Foreign Employment Minister Dilan Perera recently said aspiring
migrant workers need to acquire NVQ certificate Level 3 qualifications
or above, to prove their skill levels. Also the authorities are adopting
a job specific, country specific, company specific strategy in training
workers according to specific requirements.
"The SLBFE is also planning on improving foreign language proficiency
of overseas job seekers. They are in the process of recruiting teachers
to teach languages including foreign professionals," the SLBFE chairman
said. "Some of the employment avenues the SLBFE is currently looking to
promote among Lankan females instead of the house maid profession are
employment in hospitality industry, health, sales, house keeping, and
industries," he said.
"An agreement has already been signed with international partners to
establish an internationally accredited nurses training school and a
hospital to train health sector workers. They are seeking local and
foreign expertise in training manpower in other fields as well," he
Sri Lankan migrant worker population numbering close to 1.8 million
at present is the country's highest foreign revenue earners. Their
remittances in 2011 exceeded US $ 5 billion. The annual outflow of
workers from Sri Lanka is around 250,000.