Bangladesh International Recruiting Agency (Baira) predicts that there will be new overseas employment opportunities in the health sector once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
Baira leaders expressed the optimism while speaking at a virtual views-exchange programme with journalists on Wednesday.
The programme was arranged to discuss the Covid-19 situation that has hit the labour market hard.
Baira Secretary-General Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman said, "Because the novel coronavirus has exposed the fragile condition of the healthcare system in various countries, governments of those countries will prioritise the health sector after the Covid-19 pandemic and will make huge investments in the sector. This will create huge employment opportunities."
The shortage of caregivers, medical assistants, and other healthcare professionals in various countries will open new windows of opportunities for migrant workers, he added.
The Baira leaders also stressed the need for preparing aspirant expatriates with necessary skills as per requirement of destination countries.
Baira President Benjir Ahmed, MP said, "Now many of our migrant workers are unskilled. We have to train our workers according to the demand of destination countries in the post-Covid era."
"Europe, Japan, China would be our next destination countries. Now, we the recruiting agencies are working to explore new job markets," he added.
Meanwhile, Raquib Mohammad Fakhrul, president of Bangladesh Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industries, recently said, "The focus should be on having capable and fit manpower after the pandemic. The world has learned the need for healthcare professionals the hard way."
"Therefore, the health sector will be booming. Having a diploma in this area might be an added advantage. Health workers will be exported worldwide as well."
Migration experts fear several lakh Bangladeshi migrants might return home in the coming months after losing jobs, mostly in the Middle East, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Baira Secretary-General Noman does not think so.
"Most of our workers in the middle east are working as cleaners or construction workers. The situation is going to be normal in Saudi Arabia and some other countries. So, they will not send back our workers in huge numbers," he said.
According to Baira, in spite of having visas around 1 lakh Bangladeshis could not fly abroad for jobs at different phases amid Covid-19. And, 80 percent of them were supposed to go to Saudi Arabia.
Baira leaders also urged the government to provide them with incentives as their business has been hit hard by the pandemic.
Mentioning that the government has taken initiatives to support the returnee expatriate workers by arranging loans in a bid to enable them to pursue viable economic activities the Baira secretary said, "We also have decided to give Tk30 lakh to the expatriate welfare ministry for helping the returnee migrants amid the pandemic."
"Earlier, we donated Tk50 lakh to the prime ministers' relief fund," he added.
They Baira leaders also talked about the recent "human trafficking" in Vietnam.
"If a worker goes overseas with the emigration clearance card of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training how can the process be treated as human trafficking?" he questioned.