Constituent policy

Recover skills? Lessons for the Future Approach to Nepal’s Migration Policy – myRepublica

Remittances from foreign migrants have been a crucial element in keeping Nepal’s economy afloat. With a 24.1% contribution to the national economy in 2020, remittances have had a Dutch disease effect on the national economy. The looming economic crisis in Nepal, as predicted by economic analysts, is likely to prompt the country to re-evaluate the importance of remittances and their influence on the future economy, in light of foreign exchange-induced insolvency. from Sri Lanka. The growing contribution of remittances can be increased by emphasizing the skills and training of Nepalese, both at home and abroad, as a long-term government goal.

Given current statistics on stocks of migrant workers on the move, a centralized mechanism for registering skills and upskilling programs could be a crucial step in creating a better experience for individual workers as well as for the country. Indeed, the number of Nepalese migrant workers has increased significantly following the COVID 19 pandemic, with over 62,000 workers receiving work permits in a single month, from May 15 to June 15 (DoFE). The effectiveness of pre-departure orientation/training of workers prior to working abroad has been questioned on the basis of inadequate labor compensation and employers’ reluctance to accept certificates of competence in the country of destination, as well as the importance of matching language and skills. The lack of development programs for Nepali employees in destination countries is a major problem, as it adds to the potential loss of vital remittances to Nepal.

Importance of skills in reintegration

In order to generate investment opportunities for returning migrant workers, the nation needs a system to explore a potential institutional pathway to record human and social capital, such as skills, and to investigate financial pathways. This will contribute to the retention of migrant workers in the national labor market and alleviate the looming economic crisis. It is crucial to realize the importance of providing platforms for migrant workers to generate jobs, register human capital, register and provide grants, loans or other investment opportunities to create jobs based on these capacities . In its latest budget statement, the administration stressed the need to maintain and update data on the skills of returning migrant workers in close collaboration with local government. Given the significant increase in the number of returning migrant workers, special emphasis should be placed on accelerating procedures and platforms to register skills and provide job prospects without further delay.

In the ongoing discussion on the reintegration of returning migrant workers and the necessary policy and institutional arrangements, it is possible to use best practices from other countries of origin. The National Reintegration Center for OFW, established in the Philippines by the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment and its attached POLO agencies in destination countries, provides counseling services, wage employment assistance, job training , capacity building and assistance to Filipino workers. stuck abroad. This government strategy can serve as a model for building a government-level reintegration and monitoring system for Nepal.

Similarly, based on the experience in Vietnam, the Ministry of Labor has also enacted a separate employment assistance law for returning migrant workers. It seems that legislative and structural preparations have been made in this program to inform returning migrant workers about job prospects and provide advice on how to register for a job search. In the same vein, it would be beneficial to encourage migrant workers returning from abroad to work independently, as well as to create an environment conducive to self-employment and to encourage these workers to benefit not only them themselves but also to future return migrants. Despite the fact that these existing systems may have their own shortcomings and emulation may pose logistical challenges, there remains a relevant model for Nepal to consider and develop, given the unique national labor market situation in Nepal. .

Likewise, future epidemics or calamities will require responsive policies, a multi-stakeholder committee and disaster management coalitions. The stalled global economy in the aftermath of the pandemic, followed by the new weight of global economic downturns, and restrictions imposed by popular destination countries through nationalization policies added to the looming jobs crisis. As such, the current crisis should be used to inject flexibility into the existing system. The pandemic and impending economic downturns have cast doubt on the future of employment and prompted remittance-dependent countries like Nepal to rethink their migration policy and the role of skills and training.

Legislative and policy framework

When it comes to migrant upskilling, certification and licensing, Nepal’s policy and policy frameworks are riddled with limitations, necessitating exploring other international best practices to become more competitive in the long term. . The Philippine government was able to enter into a bilateral agreement with the UAE that allows Filipino healthcare professionals (nurses) to obtain a license from the Health Authority for Abu Dhabi (HAAD) before moving to the UAE. This bilateral agreement has not only helped Filipino nurses become competitive, but also shows their crucial preference and demand in the UAE, GCC and beyond. Nepal’s method of governance does not appear to match any of the migration governance indicators, including the established principles of labor migration. For example, there is a dearth of data based on gender, geography, and the skills needed to develop evidence-based policies. Without data on gender and skills, future mainstreaming policies and processes are likely to be undermined. Similarly, policies and legislation are deafeningly silent on the topics of identifying skills, upgrading skills, developing skills in response to labor market demands and recording skills. for returnees, in the context of Nepal.

The outcome

To implement stronger skills recognition practices, it is recommended that a skills recognition protocol that serves as a credential selection mechanism and further incorporates an assessment of current skills and prior learning, the identification of gaps, training to address these gaps and post-training skills assessment be negotiated bilaterally and regionally. Nepal, as a member state of the Colombo Process, Abu Dhabi Dialogue and other regional migration processes, should strive to increase the exchange and development of best practices so that other governments of origin, such as Nepal, can also benefit. Nepal needs to strengthen its national institutions in order to collect the information needed to develop future migration strategies.

In addition, Nepal needs to take into account that labor markets in destination countries are becoming increasingly competitive and develop a migration regime with a strong skills/training component that can provide long-term benefits to its migrants and to their families.