A job to be done

  • Remittance is a short-term fix, we need to create work here

Mar 27, 2019-

Last December, Japan approved a new labour policy opening up its labour market to deserving Nepali people under blue-collar visas. Moving swiftly forward, representatives of the two governments signed a deal on Monday formally paving the way for migration of Nepali workers to Japan under the government-to-government modality. Skilled Nepali workers who have basic knowledge of the Japanese language will be employed in 14 sectors like nursing care, agriculture, food and drink manufacturing, industrial machinery industry and so on. The new visa categories allow foreign workers aged 18 or older to apply for two new residency statuses. The first type is for people who will engage in work that requires a certain level of knowledge and experience, while the second type is for work that requires higher skill levels.

No doubt, this is a good initiative as Nepali workers are slowly diversifying their job locations and also the kind of work they do when going abroad as labourers. This will again help in generating remittance. But the main catch is that remittance is a short-term fix, and youths cannot be the first thing we supply to foreign countries. We should be supplying commodities, products, not people to work as labourers—no matter whether skilled or unskilled—in foreign countries.

Japan recently amended its immigration laws paving the way for blue-collar jobs for certain countries—China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. According to various reports, Japan will provide working visas for blue-collar foreign workers with certain skills and expertise under the revised immigration law for the first time in the country’s postwar history, as it grapples with an acute labour shortage caused by a graying population.

Unemployment has been a perennial problem in the country. According to data from the World Bank, from December 1991 to December 2017, the average rate of unemployment was 2.74 percent. The unemployment rate in 2016 was 3.06 percent. Showing some signs of improvement, in 2017, it dropped to 2.74 percent. But still, it is a huge problem. The government, instead of focusing on establishing industries, which by default, help create employment opportunity in the country, it has been concentrating on trade.

Trade helps generate revenue, but it does not help create mass employment. It is imperative for the government to realise that it is only by establishing industries can we solve the problem of unemployment to a large extent. As long as there are employment opportunities in the country, most of the population will not prefer to leave home in search of better opportunities elsewhere.

Published: 27-03-2019 07:34

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