Only a fraction going overseas through 'individual channels'
Strict enforcement is channeling more hopefuls to institutions
KATHMANDU, Jan 31: As the government tightened the screws on recruitment through personal relations, the number of Nepalis leaving for overseas jobs using institutions has gone up over by 66 percent in the first five months of the current fiscal year compared to that recorded during the same period in Fiscal Year 2011/12.
Officials and foreign employment experts have long been blaming recruitment of workers through personal channels for the problems Nepali workers have been facing in the international labor markets. It is difficult to trace who is responsible for the workers if they end up with problems when the recruitment was done through personal channels.
However, the institutional channel -- that involves registered manpower agents in the recruitment process, is more secure for job seekers as brokers have to put deposits worth Rs 3 million with the government so that inflicted workers can recover the compensation from them.
"The number of workers leaving for overseas destinations has shot up significantly as we have put in place stricter measures to control the trend of finding jobs using individual channels," Purna Chandra Bhattarai, the director general of the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) told Republica.
Similarly, the number of those getting jobs from individual channels has dropped by a whopping 91 percent compared to the number reported last year during the corresponding period.
Since last year, the government has been restricting permits for overseas jobs through individual mediums if the person who arranged the jobs and the job-seekers are not close relatives.
Data compiled by DoFE states that 179,804 workers got work approvals through institutional channels involving manpower agencies, a significant jump from the 107,902 recorded during the same period last year.
Similarly, the DoFE brought down the number of workers getting jobs through the individual channels to 7,381 during the review period from 83,779 during the corresponding period last year.
"We have made significant achievement in bringing down the number of those leaving for overseas labor markets through individual channels putting in place stringent provisions. Our move to discourage arranging jobs through personal relations has pushed up the numbers of jobs seekers approaching manpower agencies for foreign employment," Purna Chandra Bhattarai, the director general of the DoFE told Republica.
In the past, even manpower agents used to try their best to send hopefuls overseas without showing any involvement of their manpower agencies in a bid to avoid any institutional responsibility toward workers if they faced any problem at their workplaces.
"Unlike in the past, manpower agencies are cooperating with the government in lowering the number of workers leaving for foreign jobs through personal contacts that increases the chances of cheating and exploitation of workers by both employers and manpower agencies," said Bal Bahadur Tamang, president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA).