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SOS Manpower tops labor exporters list Nov-07-2010
PRABHAKAR GHIMIRE KATHMANDU, Oct 31: SOS Manpower Agency Service has become the top recruiting agency, sending 5,342 workers to overseas destinations during fiscal year 2009/10. SOS Manpower, which has been topping the list of Nepali manpower agencies for the last 15 years, sent 9,800 workers abroad during 2008/9 and contributed Rs 4.5 million to state coffers as income tax. SOS has retained the top position during 2009/10 as well despite suffering a sharp fall in the demand for workers by Saudi Arabia-- the destination where the company sends most of the job seekers. Government data shows that the total number of workers leaving for overseas destinations during 2009/10 through manpower agencies was 228,307, including 2 24,087 male and 4,220 female workers. Those making their way to the labor market during the year through individual contacts stood at 65,768, including 59,951 males and 5,836 females. The number of workers leaving by air for foreign jobs through the top 10 manpower agencies stood at 32,218 or 14.11 percent of the total 228,307 workers who found work though recruiting agencies during 2009/10. A total of 523 manpower agencies submitted their statements at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) on the number of workers who left for overseas work through brokering by them. According to the statements submitted at DoFE, 43 companies have sent more than 1,000 workers and 15 sent more than 2,000 workers during the year. Nepali manpower agencies have said that overseas workers and growing competition among local recruiting agencies in the host countries have posed a threat to overseas job prospects for Nepalis. They said growing demand for skilled manpower in the international labor market whereas an overwhelming number of Nepali job seekers are unskilled is indicative of bleaker job prospects for Nepalis in the overseas market. I am not optimistic about the growth of overseas job opportunities as we are not able to fulfill demands for labor which is sellable in the job market. Availability of more skilled workers at a lower salary than paid to Nepalis is worrying us, said Som Lal Bataju, managing director of SOS Manpower Service. The growing attraction of Nepali youths to Malaysia compared to the Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia following the gradual recovery of economies from the two-year global financial crisis is the main cause behind the fall in number of workers approaching our company, said Bataju, who is also president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA). However, the number of workers leaving for Saudi Arabia-- the biggest destination for Nepali workers-- had increased to 63,700 during fiscal year 2009/10 from 48,434 recorded in 2008/09. Gyan Prasad Gaire, promoter of Rara Employment Consultant--the sixth largest manpower agency during 2009/10, said that relocation of foreign employment agencies from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia at the time of the financial crisis triggering excessive competition among them in the desert kingdom. We also witnessed a fall in the number of aspirants seeking Saudi jobs as we couldnt bring more job offers from Saudi Arabia. However, the total number of workers leaving for different destinations through our company has gone up by over 40 percent compared to the previous year, said Gaire, who is also general secretary of NAFEA. Rara Manpower Agency, which brokers jobs mainly for Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, sent altogether 2,895 workers during 2009/10, up from around 2,000 a year earlier. We succeeded in sending more workers to Malaysia despite a decline in the number of workers leaving for Saudi Arabia through our company, Gaire said.