THE POWER OF MANPOWER –REVENUE SEEKER FOR SRI LANKAS ECONOMY
Posted on September 15th, 2022

Sarath Wijesinghe, President’s Counsel. 

Through the years Sri Lanka has being a strong prime source of trainable, reliable and loyal and above all cost effective supply of manpower to number of countries and industries majority finding employment in the Middle East sector and other regions for both skilled and unskilled.    

The liberalization of trading with an open economic principles led by the government encouraged youths of this country to learn and develop more industrial skills with use of modern technology and training methods. The sector has supported to step up the standards in numerous ways to face challenges and develop positive work attitude, behavior pattern and confidence in workers. However, having said that there is still room for enhancement in this sector with measures that could be taken by the Labor ministry in support of the foreign employment sector. If G to G negotiations are made with (government to government) apt concord, there would be less seeking to sneak across to some of these countries in search of work.

In sustaining and providing necessary back up for the middle and low income youths of the country, training and offering apprentice programs is essential in preparation to gain more experience. There is vastly room for improvement by the government of Sri Lanka to develop this area.  On the other hand, few of the private sectors have identified the need and some of the institutes have extended their services in support of this industry.  Some of these private institutes have contributed immensely in elevating needed skills in carrying out successful employment in foreign land.

Let us first understand what employment and recruitment is. It is working for an Organization or a company and receiving wages in exchange to the services one renders. On the other hand, recruitment is hiring people accordingly based on a employees skills and qualifications and past experiences. Foreign workers contribute to a large part of the employment window across many countries in the world. There are many significant benefits associated with it. Most people are not born with silver spoons in their mouths or carry wealth from forefathers therefore to maintain life-long employment is to ensure self-wellbeing and that of their families. Satisfied employment is of great importance. Employment is also knowledge, and knowledge is power.  The more you gain knowledge in a specific field the more one can demand in terms of suitable placement and remuneration. Human resources on the other hand are an asset and along with skills and ability of manpower are imperative. These two goes hand in hand for successful employment segment.

Employment falls into two different categories and that is local and foreign recruitment. The latter is what we are mainly focused in. Foreign employment opportunities are huge for Sri Lankans and considering our literacy rate statistics for 2020 was 92.38%, a 0.13% increase from 2019. Therefore, there is hardly any reason why the majority of our population shouldn’t be engaged in skilled migration or overseas placement to better their prospects. If we consider the adult literacy rate of 91.71% male rate falls to 92.77% and female literacy is 90.8% leaving hardly a deficit between the genders. Which therefore implies the skilled capacity is equally high and both genders should be given equal opportunities to work in suitable environment benefiting same remuneration.

The present crisis in the country has led to many seeking foreign employment. Likewise several job agencies has stepped forward in providing these services in meeting with demand of many seeking better financial stability. However as an organizations point of view the lower income category no more needs to settle for less if they can be tutored for most demanding professions in the world, and that does not require very high literacy but more dedication and that should come along with a personal commitment. There is usually a high possibility of local workers in lacking certain skill sets. Therefore it is best if hirers identify relevant talents to work with for corresponding job roles and training and upgrading these categories and develop them to suit both the local and foreign job markets.

The world needs man power in every sense of the word and therefore it is best identified what is the need of the hour and some of the categories such as health care and care giving has hit the top on the list with present global health crisis.

Foreign employment usually occurs when job opportunities are limited in the local market or dissatisfied employees mainly looking to better their prospects. There are pros and cons in foreign placement due to risk of brain drain. However there is more in the positive such as lowering unemployment and country receiving foreign remittances. Which is a necessitate in the country right now. This in turn can create more local employment opportunities to the country with more and more entrepreneurs sprouting.

If we analyze some of the reasons for labor migration it is mainly due to high rise of cost of living whereby people start reacting to primarily what they earn is never enough, followed by several other factors such as limited employment opportunities in the market, or deteriorating standard of living due to inflation. If there is no political stability in the country then there is an issue in the common market which affects everyone and wages and working conditions falls below the line causing greater instability. One main reason for labor migration is inflation.

Sri Lankans are capable of working hard, if they apply themselves in any field across the board. Whether it is finance, IT related, and labor class. There has to be a certain amount of commitment and dedication in these workers with desire to do what you do with a great enthusiasm. It comes with how one is rewarded in return to your yield therefore happy employee turns out to be a successful workplace. Beneficial for both employer and the workers.

Countries that fairly known for cheaper labor are usually South Asians and Philippines, Indonesians who have managed to top the list in terms of engaging, followed by Sri Lankans, Indians, Bangladesh etc.

THE NEED OF THE HOUR-

The Pandemic that took the world by storm was never prepared for this magnitude of sick and fatality. The elderly population was worst affected with many lives lost. This unprecedented global health crisis in the name of ‘Corvid 19, affected most of the economic activities globally. No country was prepared for this devastating virus. What started as an outbreak of a virus in Wuhun China stealthily crept in to the earth planet. It challenged the norm of the most normal’ in aspect of life.

 The world was not prepared for nursing and care giving to this magnitude therefore there was an inadequacy of experiences staff everywhere, not only in our country but to the western world.  There was also lack of knowledge and impecuniousness of health workers with basic knowledge in special care giving therefore the worst affected were the senior citizens who lost their lives in hundreds  and thousands  due to lack of attendance and proper nursing care. The world literally stood still. The pandemic situation halted almost all economic activities of Sri Lanka; it equally impacted several other industries including the labor market where no new recruitments were taking place and in fact those already in overseas employment were sent back home in huge numbers  due to consequences of the recession.

Sri Lanka was able to contain the first wave of the pandemic successfully but there was a negative impact to the economy and this was not only to our country but tilting the world economy.  Slowly but surely it entered into the labor markets stability. The world was faced with a challenging requirement of professional health care givers. Health sector worldwide needed profound changes in how health systems were designed.

At the nucleus of such systems was the need for health care professionals without whom the whole of the health sectors redesign could not be possible. Preparing health care professionals to take on such task required a common vision and that is first and foremost meeting patients’ needs and this can be only achieved through experience, practice, quality improvement approaches and training.        All health centers and hospitals globally should possess core competencies but there was a lag due to unskilled workers and the world was never prepared by this unprecedented crisis throughout globally the world needed to meet the 21st century health care systems.

Our country is known to be at the top 5 of cheap labor market mainly to the Middle East market. Many laborers were known to have found jobs in UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi, some even has to work in harsh conditions. Certain workers were never prepared for these conditions therefore there whole life changing journey was futile. However care giving and health sector was not so much in the demand list then.  Pre pandemic only few nations such as Singapore, Israel, Canada that needed caregivers due cheap labor from developing nations. This is due to low percentage of their own willing to care for their ageing community. Therefore there were no facilities providing proper training prior departure for these workers. Our country never saw the demand coming.

CAREGIVERS ARE MOST DEMANDING JOB PRESENTLY

 By 2030, there is likely going to be a shortage of more than 100,000 caregivers for the elderly and nursing homes. Research has it by 2050, over one in five adults will be 60 or older, and eighty percent of those people will live in low and middle income countries. It clearly reflects that caregivers and nursing is not just for the western world but soon developing countries will also have to brace for this requisite.

Caregiver’s job can be extremely gratifying for the right type of person, whether it is the young or the young at heart if you have the heart and soul for wellbeing of another, however it shouldn’t be also looked as merely a lucrative business but more a service and a commitment that can be offered to global necessitate of the caregivers sector. For many institutes, employers and agencies the biggest issue was that they were faced with lack of good workers to find during this surge of need for caregivers and while skilled workers were even harder to find.

It is a fact that elderly care giving are in great demand and there is lot of opportunities for this job, yet there was a huge void in this profession and it became a pressing priority in most communities, nursing homes, hospitals and adult care centers globally.

Experienced Care givers are currently sought after. Care giving should be identified properly. It’s caring for patients, identifying the differences, values, and preferences and expresses needs, relieve pain and minimizing the suffering of a patient is a necessity.  Therefore  traits of good communication with the patient is also of significance and all these areas needed proper training which the sector was never prepared.

There are clinics, hospitals and Care giving centers in highly developed nations that has healthcare professional s who can guide you through treatment options and chronic conditions that has to be carefully managed, but these comes with a huge cost to the patient and family especially in the western world, hence the reason more and more country’s are reaching out to the developing and under developed countries for cheaper labor market, yet there is a lag in the proper nursing/ care giving industry as no one was prepared for this incursion of  need  of caregivers until the pandemic  thumped  the world.

SURADO CAMPUS

A campus that rose to its occasion and became a part of the one of the world’s strongest and fastest growing professions and that is under health, care givers program.  Surado campus did not suddenly sprout but it is an institute that identified the necessity of today’s youths for successful accomplishment of their career paths and fulfilling exactly their ambitions. The institute commenced with language proficiency and moved to various other vocational studies moving with times to develop the educational sector supporting youths in every step of the way. Surado campus’s timely introduction of the caregivers program maintains its forefront in care giving business to global standards in the industry. Gained its position as one of the top market leaders presently.

The campus an initiate of a humble young entrepreneur with a vibrant nature, a charisma of an influencer in every sense of the word makes no loss in time motivating his students at lectures. Many may want to fit in his shoes no doubt will see him as a successful entrepreneur. Surado campus strikes a well balance of entrenurship and serving humanity not only in the health sector but contributes to the country’s job market locally and internationally. Being a member of the Ambassador forum he has a vision for the futuristic youths of this country through the international arena.

Stepping out of the box, he strategically emerged with the timely solution and that was the need for proper training and educating the young in preparation for the foreign demand of caregivers mostly European countries and now followed by other countries where the demand is rising with aged and the lack of attendance for sickly in most developed countries.  This has also resulted in giving opportunity for the foreign employment sector giving many deserving youths of today to travel.  Caregivers can now work overseas and they are successfully recruited through agencies and one such agency is Surado campus, who has taken pride in sending numerous workers in the reason past.

Surado Campus initially kicked off as privately led vocational training institute for foreign employment. It later diversified to other languages followed by various other aspects of vocational studies. Established in 2012 this campus saw its growth and it gradually led to not only education but employment both local and foreign placement. Facing challenges of the pandemic overcoming its hurdles one by one it eventually slotted into the most demanding subject and that is a care givers program that has reaped results of all its hard work. Today Surado campus is one of the leading institutes that conduct various academic courses to vocational giving equal opportunity for everyone to build up a career. It is affiliated with several foreign universities giving the opportunity to the futuristic to set their journey beyond and accomplishing their dreams.

Surado campus not only supports the country’s employment sector but it also plays a huge role in country’s present foreign exchange earnings. The country’s dire need is foreign exchange reserves which plummeted an astonishing 99% since 2019, bringing down the capacity to purchase imports inciting up domestic prices for goods. Sri Lanka’s present economic and political crisis, in recent times defaulting on its debt payments ignited a mass protest across the island bringing the country virtually to a standstill

Foreign employment very especially health and care givers sector therefore is driving a wave of a market boom with new global opportunities, whereby it contributes in foreign exchange earnings. Surado campus offering these programs topped the market in the country with very few competitors in the game. Once equipped with knowledge it is easy to find job satisfaction and contentment, stated the chairman P. S. R Buddika he further vehemently believes a well trained employee who is able to deliver to the expectation of his employer essentially builds a good employer- employee relationship.

Sri Lankans are intelligent by nature; warm and known to be friendly therefore are quick to grasp any job requirements if trained properly. Some of the key areas given above are of huge advantage to the worker in terms of carrying out their care givers job.  SrI Lankan’s are also usually known to be benevolent towards elderly parents or sick. This may come from the culture and religion where teaching of Lord Buddha towards aging.( Ahimsa spirit) it is in the Dharma, fragile and infirm bodies and minds are sacred and worthy of great kindness and care. To respect aging at every stage is the greatest kindness we can offer to ourselves and those we love.

Surado campus has carefully sort after this area of care giving and nursing and students are trained under expertise with high-tech facilities enabling smooth transition of foreign placement standards.

Some of the key areas covered

  • Introduction to care giving.
  • Introduction of human body.
  • Sterilization, Disinfection, PPE, Barrier Nursing care.
  • Hand Washing Techniques.
  • Medication Administration.
  • Therapeutic Communication Process.
  • Dementia Care.
  • Human Rights/Medication Rights.
  • Diabetes Mellitus.
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
  • Nutrient and Diet Plan Preparation.
  • Basic Medical Investigations.
  • Decubitus Ulcer.
  • Turning and Moving a Patient on the bed.
  • Bed arrangements.
  • Maintaining Personal Hygiene- Oral Care.
  • Maintaining Personal Hygiene- Bed Bath and Back Care.
  • Maintaining Personal Hygiene- Hair care and head wash.
  • Assessment of Vital Signs.
  • Administration oral Medication.
  • Naso-Gastric Feeding.
  • Care for Diabetic Patient.
  • Nebulization & Tepid Sponging.
  • Moving and Handling of the client.
  • Catheter care/ Perineal Care.
  • Palliative Care.
  • Care Home Visit (Clinical Training).

Surado Campus can proudly say they are contributors towards providing a substantial cushion to the present crisis whereby these workers send home remittances. Therefore, we can comfortably say most recruits from Surado campus plays a key pillar towards current foreign exchange earnings. Foreign employment and the private sector equally looks forward to the support of the government by establishing more foreign ties whereby our workers are not faced with impediment in seeking jobs overseas.

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