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Manpower recruiters get until June 30

Providing lists of intermediaries

ARAFAT ARA | April 08, 2021 00:00:00

The government has extended the deadline by three more months for the manpower recruiting agencies to submit lists of their respective sub-agents or intermediaries to the manpower bureau.

The manpower recruiters have to submit the lists by June 30 this year to the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), said officials.

The previous submission deadline expired on March 31 last.

As per directive of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, the agencies that will fail to submit the lists of their respective sub-agents by the new deadline, will not get any services from the relevant departments in sending workers abroad.

The ministry has extended the time-frame following an appeal by recruiters as many of them failed to provide the lists.

Asked how many recruiters actually submitted the lists, an official said an insignificant number of recruiters had so far submitted lists of their sub-agents.

The government has taken the move to check malpractices by a section of intermediaries and recruiters as they cheat workers and charge higher, the officials added.

The intermediaries or middlemen involved in the manpower recruitment process will be registered under the respective recruiting agencies they work for, while the BMET will act as the regulatory body.

Currently, there are more than 1,800 licensed recruiting agencies in the country. But, as the migration experts put it, the industry is heavily dependent on intermediaries to send workers abroad; during this process, workers are cheated on many occasions and migration cost increases as a result.

However, Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, former secretary general of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA), said the registration of intermediaries should not be made mandatory for all the manpower recruiters, as all of them are not doing an equal business.

"So, it should be optional," he said.

A proper policy is needed on how to operate the whole system, or else recruiters will face difficulties in following it, he said.

Mr Noman, however, emphasised on a digital recruitment system to cut intermediaries' involvement in the process, thus reducing the migration cost.

Over 13 million Bangladeshi workers have gone abroad since 1976.

Of them, 80 per cent went to Middle Eastern countries, according to BMET statistics.

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