The health and agriculture sectors will be the most significant fields of overseas employment for migrant workers after the Covid-19 pandemic, said speakers at a programme on Saturday.
The online discussion titled "Covid-19's Impact on our Recruitment Sector and our National Economy" was organised by the Bangladesh Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI).
It was the fifth session of the "Web Talk Series" powered by Robi.
At the session, Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, secretary general of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira), said, "We have seen the fragile condition of the healthcare sector all over the world amid the pandemic."
He said, "The governments of different countries will prioritise their health sectors after Covid-19 and make major investments which will create great opportunities for employment."
Bangladesh has a large number of youths who can become employed overseas in the health sector.
"Additionally, the government is trying to create alternative employment for our migrant workers in the agriculture sectors of destination counties," Shamim added.
Migration experts and recruiting businesses fear several lakh Bangladeshi migrants might return home in the coming months after losing their jobs.
Most of these workers are in the Middle East, which is badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Brac's Migration Programme, around seven lakh Bangladeshis have returned from different countries from January to March this year.
Around 2-2.5 lakh of them are migrant workers.
The Baira secretary general also said the government has taken initiatives to support the returnee expatriate workers by arranging loans in order to enable them to pursue viable economic activities, especially in the agriculture sector.
He mentioned that one lakh Bangladeshis – who had visas or were at different stages of processing them – could not fly abroad for jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Additionally, 1.5 lakh people – who came home to enjoy their vacation – have now been stranded in the country.
Raquib Mohammad Fakhrul, the President of BMCCI said, "The focus should be on having capable and fit manpower following the pandemic. The world has learned about the need for health professionals in a hard way."
"So, the health sector will be booming. A diploma in this sector might be an added advantage. Healthcare workers will be sent around the world as well," he added.
He suggested that Bangladesh streamline the channel between workers and companies so that workers know where to register themselves as well as share information about their skills and experience. This would also help companies know where to find the workers according to their needs.
Among others, Member of Parliament and President of BAIRA Benjir Ahmed also participated in the session.
Syed Moinuddin Ahmed, treasurer of BMCCI, conducted the session.