The size of Bangladeshi migrants is estimated to be 6 million and it is growing steadily. Officially, overseas employment of Bangladeshis started in 1976. There has been a steady growth over last 30 years, both in terms of worker migration and remittances flow. However, the remittance growth in last few years is encouraging. As mentioned earlier, remittance grew by 25 per cent from the last year to US$10 billion (2013). Systematic recording of information on migration of Bangladeshi workers began in the mid-70s. Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training of Labour Ministry maintains the record. BMET has classified temporary migrant population into four categories. These are professional, skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled. Doctors, engineers, nurses and teachers are considered as professionals. Manufacturing or garments workers are considered as skilled; while tailor, mason etc. as semi-skilled workers; housemaid, cleaner, laborers are classified as unskilled.
Bangladesh is a reservoir of manpower. A huge number of un-skilled labor forces, skilled, semi-skilled and professional manpower is available for foreign employment. Some relevant data in this regard are given below:
(A) Technical Manpower:
Skilled workers and technicians play a key role in all sectors of the economy. To produce skilled technicians there are mid-level technical and vocational training systems in the country. Mid level technical education is provided after tenth year of schooling. Polytechnic sub-system offers well organized 3 year’s diploma courses in engineering and technology. There are twenty one Polytechnic Institutes in the country with annual intake capacity of 5268 students. Besides Polytechnics, there are a number of agricultural and allied industrial, textile and leather technology institutes and commercial institutes and other specialized polytechnic institutes offering diploma level course in their respective fields.
There are 51 Vocational Training Institutes (VTI’s) and 13 Technical Training Centers (IIC’s) and 1 Bangladesh Institute of Marine Technology (BIMT) which cater to the training needs for craftsmen in the basic trades. Diploma in Marine Technology is also offered from BIMT. The Marine Academy at Juldia, Chittagong turns out certificated officers for merchant navy. 13 TTC’s and 1 BIMT produce annually about 7,000 highly skilled technicians on different trades, suitable for overseas employment. Tele Communication Engineers and Technicians tradesmen skilled in basic engineering and building trades like electricians, petrol/diesel mechanics, air conditioning mechanics, radio/TV mechanics, fabricators, marine mechanist, molders, tatters, plumbers, pipe fitters, painters, steel fixtures, carpenters, masons, garments workers, draftsmen, etc. are available for employment.
Testing facilities on different occupations are available in the modern Technical Training Centers both in public & sectors.
(B) Medical Manpower:
Bangladesh has facilities for imparting graduate and post-graduate medical education and training in the country. Facilities exist in the country for turning out 2500 medical graduates and 200 dental surgeons every year. More than 5000 General Physicians (graduates) are now available for employment abroad. A good number of specialized consultants/ physicians are also available for overseas employment. Facilities to train Blood Bank Technicians, Radio Therapist, x-ray technicians, Radiographers, compounders, Dressers, Dental Technicians, Health Assistant, Sanitary Inspectors, etc. also exist in the country. Bangladesh has about 47000 paramedics and medical personnel available for employment at home and abroad. There are also 38 Nursing Training Institutes, which offer 4 years Diploma course (including one year Midwifery) in other countries with excellent professional reputation. At present 8500 Diploma and 800 Graduate nurses are available for foreign employment.
(C) Engineering Manpower:
Engineering Institutes (2 University of Engineering & Technology, 4 Bangladesh Institute of Technology, 4 Engineering College and 1 Marine Academy) produce about 1000 Graduate Engineers annually. In addition 21 Polytechnic Institutes in the country produce about 3000 Diploma Engineers annually.
At Present about 1000 Engineers and 25000 Technicians are available for employment at home and abroad.
(D) Industrial Manpower:
The country’s industries employ about 1.5 million workers of different categories. Professional, managerial, administrative, technical, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers including experienced garments workers, both male and female with several years of experience in different industrial fields are available for overseas employment.
(E) Computer Personnel:
Bangladesh has now a large number of Computer Operators, Computer Engineers (both Hardware and Software), Programmers, Web Page Developer, Networking Specialist, System Analyst, etc. available for overseas employment.
(F) Power Station, Petroleum and Fertilizer Manpower:
Bangladesh has vast reservoir of professional, highly skilled and skilled manpower in electricity/power, petroleum and fertilizer sectors.
(G) Road Transport workers:
Professional, technical and skilled personnel experienced in operation, repair and maintenance of all categories of vehicles including trucks and heavy vehicle equipment’s are available for employment.
(H) Manpower for Financial Institutions, Insurance, Audit and Accounts:
Bangladesh has a network of commercial Bank and Financial Institutions covering even the remotest areas of the country. Persons experienced in central banking operations are also available in Bangladesh. Normally University Graduates are recruited for supervisory and managerial positions in the banking institutions and they are trained through a scheme for training for bankers. In addition, the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management provides higher training of international standard to in-service banking personnel. Similarly, Chartered Accountants Cost Management Accounts, Actuaries, and persons with long experience in Insurance business, Government and Commercial Audit and Accounting are available in the Country, and they can be spared for service abroad.
(I) Port and Water Transport Workers:
Personas of all categories needed for administration and operation of port facilities are available. These include inland Masters, Engine Drivers, Oil Men, Pre-sea Trained Nautical Cadres, Stevedores, Tally Clears, Crane Operators, Fort Lift Operators, Riggers, Security Personnel, Management Personnel and other categories of Personnel. They have international level of efficiency to the credit.
(J) Agricultural, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Livestock, Horticulture Experts, Technical and Farmers:
There are two Agricultural Universities and 10 Agricultural College and several training institutes in the country offering degrees, diplomas and certificates of education and training in agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, fisheries, livestock, horticulture and related fields. Experts with Bachelor’s Master’s and Ph.D. degrees and technicians with several years’ experience in agricultural development, livestock, fisheries, forestry horticulture development and research activities are available in the country, in addition skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled shepherds with sufficient experience are also available for foreign employment.
(K) University/College/School Teachers:
A large number of persons with university degrees in engineering science, humanities, fine arts and social sciences with experience of teaching in Schools, Colleges and Universities are available in the country for foreign employment.
(L) Administrative and Defense Personnel:
To man public administration Bangladesh with Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. degrees and specialized training and long experience in public administration are available for employment. Besides, persons educated and experienced in economic planning and research are also available for overseas employment. Retired army, navy and air force personnel with adequate experience can also be deployed abroad for manning defense and security services.
(M) Hotel Management and Catering Staff:
A large number of Bangladeshi hotel personnel are working in various reputed hotels abroad, mainly in the Middle Eastern and south asian countries. The Hotel Management Training Institute run by Bangladesh Tourism Corporation turns out a good number of trained hotel personnel every year. All categories of trained hotel staff experience or working in five star hotels can be provided for the departments of food and beverage, house keeping, front office, accounts and engineering.
(N) Marine Crew:
Bangladesh has a large number of qualified and experienced Ship/Cargo/Vessel Crew possessing Continuous Discharge Certificates (C.D.C.) Crew can be provided from Bangladesh at short notice. Certificated merchant navy officers are also available for overseas employment.
(O) Miscellaneous Manpower:
Qualified photographers, printers, printing technicians, journalists, translators, musical entertainers, operators, tailors, sewing men, barbers, shoe makers, domestic servants, house keepers, cleaners and all types of semi skilled an unskilled workers are available for employment abroad. Besides, Bangladesh has a huge numbers of manual workers to do heavy and difficult jobs like agricultural work, plantation, timber extraction, pottering and excavation work, etc.
Qualities of Workers:
Bangladeshi workers are loyal, disciplined, hardworking and have the rare quality of adaptability to new situation.