The Overseas Employment Promoters (OEPs) in private sector are playing a vital role in promoting overseas employment and in enhancing the export of our manpower. Therefore, government should further facilitate and encourage them in their activities so that they could explore more opportunities of overseas employment for our human resource with the leading employers and contribute effectively towards strengthening the economy. These views were expressed by Mian Shaukat Masud, President and Muhammad Ishtiaq Qureshi, Vice President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a statement. They said millions of Pakistani workers have got employment abroad since 1971 and more than 75% to 80% overseas employment has been managed by the licensed Overseas Employment Promoters which shows their crucial role in reducing unemployment and improving lives of the people. They said overseas Pakistanis are also contributing significantly to national economy by sending foreign remittances which provide a strong cushion to our foreign exchange reserves and added that further encouragement of OEPs will result into enhanced export of our manpower, which will bring many benefits to the country.
They showed reservations over the performance of Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) despite the fact that government has equipped this organization with plenty of resources, infrastructure and other facilities. They called for merging the Bureau of Immigration and OEC to save unnecessary expenditure and to streamline their working. They said that these organizations should provide proper help and support to our foreign employees whenever they face any difficulty in foreign countries. They further demanded for re-starting the practice of giving awards to best performing OEPs to encourage them. They also stressed for the need of changing and upgrading immigration rules which have not been changed since 1979 to bring them up to present day requirements.
Mian Shaukat Masud said that technical training centers and vocational institutes are victims of bureaucratic approach and call upon the government to activate them for providing modern training and developing skills of our manpower according to the market demand of foreign employers so that Pakistan could export well trained and better skilled human resource, which will not only improve the image of the country, they will also play a positive role in improving the economic activities by investing and spending more in their home country. He said that government, in consultation with chambers, should devise a comprehensive strategy to impart technical education and vocational training to our youth to meet the job requirements of domestic industry as well as to improve the chances of export of skilled labor.
Muhammad Ishtiaq Qureshi said that our manpower in foreign countries gets latest training of modern technology and machinery, but when they return home, they are not properly utilized in local market. Therefore, he suggested that government should maintain a database of our trained and skilled foreign workers so that on their repatriation, they could be rehabilitated in our domestic industry for achieving better results from them. He said that Community Welfare Attaché’s (CWAs) should be inducted from business community in foreign countries so that they could explore better opportunities for export of our manpower.