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‘Labour exports still a viable option’

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The private labour exports industry maintains that labour exports to other countries such as Qatar could still be the answer to high unemployment rates especially among the country’s youth.

The sentiments come at a time when government is implementing the community technical colleges initiative which aims at empowering the youth in the country’s rural areas with vocational and entrepreneurial skills to promote self employment.

A management consultant at Job Centre Malawi, Trevor Kandoje said labour exports can still contribute to Malawi’s social and economic development.

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He said it is still difficult for Malawi’s weak economy to satisfy the growing demand for jobs.

“We understand that strengthening of the country’s balance of payments is of great concern to government at the moment, and labour export can provide the much needed Forex earnings through remittances back to Malawi.” Kandoje said in an interview.

He however acknowledged that for this to happen, there is need for government to come up with sound legal frameworks to govern the processes involved in labour exports.

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“As a sector, we always experience challenges when it comes to negotiating with various companies on remittance of salaries back to the country from our boys and girls who go outside the country to work, so it is our wish that government will speed up the process of putting up a legal framework to enable us as private recruitment agencies to operate in,” he said.

He also suggested that government should consider introducing a subsidy on travelling and documentation costs for those who find job opportunities outside the country adding that the departments responsible should also prioritise them when it comes to issuance of travelling documents.

“If government was to introduce these subsidies, it will positively contribute to the economic well being of many young Malawians as once assisted they will never line up to benefit from the same next time,” he said.

Kandoje has also appealed to government to consider reviewing the legal framework on labour migration so that it provides for licensing of recruitment agencies, conditions of work for receiving nations, appointment of labour attachés to monitor conditions of workers abroad and remittances to home countries among others.

In a separate interview Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour Patrick Kabambe said government intends to establish bilateral relations with the holding countries first before committing to the initiative.

“As government, we would rather establish government to government relations before we commit because the idea is, if something goes wrong to Malawians in those areas, they should be able to find readily available assistance,” said Kabambe adding that “after all Malawi needs her people for development, so we are working at creating employment here at home.”

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