Bangladeshi IT professionals are going to have work-from-home job opportunities in Australia with lucrative facilities as some companies in the country have started the process to hire them through Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited (BOESL).
In the first stage, several Australian firms are hiring more than 50 Bangladeshi IT specialists, especially Pega developer/engineers, PHP/Symfony developers, Salesforce developers and .NET developers under the supervision of Sterning Group, an Australia-based company.
Industry insiders have said if the companies are satisfied with their performance, the overseas remote employees will have a scope to go to Australia in the future with high payments.
Other destinations including the USA, Europe, and Japan also are gradually opening their doors with similar opportunities for Bangladeshi IT workers, they said.
The Australian firms have asked for two years of experience for Pega developers/engineers, PHP/Symfony developers, and Salesforce developers with strong verbal and written communication skills in English offering a yearly remuneration of about 1 lakh to 1.7 lakh Australian Dollar (Tk64 to Tk1 crore).
Besides, they have offered AUD1.1 lakh to AUD1.3 lakh yearly salary for .NET developers with five years of experience.
"Successful applicants will come under contract for working remotely from Bangladesh and paid in Bangladeshi local currency, Taka. They will get good salaries compared to local IT workers. We will then work with the clients to relocate them to Australia where they will be paid at the advertised salaries in Australian dollars," said Alam Hossain, deputy general manager (overseas employment) at BOESL.
"We have already taken interviews of interested candidates. Now, the process to finalise the candidates is going on," he added.
AKM Fahim Mashroor, chief executive officer at Bdjobs.com, said, "The salaries they are paying are relatively higher, which is very positive. These amounts are not typically paid in other similar job offers in this sector."
According to a recent study by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), Bangladesh has come up as the second-largest supplier of online workers with 16% labour share. The top country in this respect is India with 24% share.
Currently, Bangladesh has around 650,000 IT service exporters or freelancers, with roughly 1,600 team-based freelancing organisations.
According to sources, they earn around $500 million every year.
Zia Ul Haque, a senior system analyst at a leading IT firm in the country, said, "Bangladeshi IT specialists are currently doing remote work for companies in various countries including Europe and Japan. Although they work for high salaries in the context of Bangladesh, other facilities like overtime, bonus, weekly leave etc depend on the contract."
Industry people said that working remotely from another country is nothing new nowadays, especially in the IT sector.
To reduce costs and risks, many multinational firms in developed countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia are resorting to IT outsourcing in countries such as Bangladesh, resulting in a recent surge in freelancing.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also pushed many foreign companies to shift their workload online, and as a result, the worldwide demand for IT work exporters has also increased massively, giving rise to an increased demand for freelance workers.
Bangladesh was already on its way to becoming one of the key forces that are providing worldwide outsourcing services, and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has only fueled this sector's growth.
But remote workers such as freelancers do not get the facilities like formally appointed workers.
Zahidul Islam, a young Bangladeshi web developer, works remotely for an IT firm in the United States.
"I have to work eight hours a night on US time. Apart from the two days off per week, I enjoy other holidays too which are applicable for the US and Bangladesh."
Noting that freelancers do not generally get benefits of formal jobs, he said, "They are usually paid as per hours worked. But by maintaining a deadline, they can work for anybody at any time."
Rowly Rafiqul Islam, managing director of CSL Software Resources Ltd, said, "The work pattern of freelancers is completely different from regular workers. Many of them often become jobless, but those who can prove their skills and create a good network are never out of work."
"Remote workers in the IT sector usually work from home. Sometimes, it is not possible to get a favourable environment for work at home. However, they have a significant contribution in the country's remittance income," he added.