News

Minister warns of looming unemployment issues

  • Proposes five-year plan to revive foreign employment sector

By Sarah Hannan

State Minister of Foreign Employment Promotions and Market Diversification Piyankara Jayaratne said the country is heading into an unemployment crisis come January 2021, due to the high number of returning migrant workers losing their jobs in foreign countries as a result of Covid-19.

“We will have to initiate a five-year plan starting from 2021 to revive the pandemic-impacted foreign employment sector. We will look at streamlining the future activities to ensure that the Sri Lanka Bureau for Foreign Employment sustains and will be able to negotiate better job offers from countries willing to keep our migrant workers and recruit new groups,” Jayaratne noted.

A programme will be implemented as soon as possible to obtain information on workers who register with the Bureau in each country and apply for employment, the State Minister added.

He noted that expatriate workers aim to come to Sri Lanka after working abroad and making a living, and added that job losses due to the corona epidemic are a strain on the country’s existing job market and economy, as these migrant workers who are returning due to job losses will face difficulties finding jobs within the country upon arrival.