ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) has facilitated some 294,156 Pakistanis to precede Saudi Arabia this year for prospective job opportunities in various sectors.
According to the data shared by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BEOE) here on Monday, manpower export to Saudi Arabia registered a marked growth of 191 per cent in 2019 as compared to the last year when only 100,910 Pakistanis migrated to Saudi Arabia.
In 2019, the overseas employment of Pakistanis witnessed a massive increase of 47 per cent as some 563,018 Pakistanis found jobs overseas while only 382,439 went abroad for different employment opportunities in 2018.
Moreover, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar, Malaysia and Bahrain also imported a whooping number of Pakistanis in 2019. The UAE employed 195,241 Pakistani workforce, Oman 26,062, Qatar 17,413, Malaysia 10,390 and Bahrain 6,988 during the said year.
Brushing aside the news circulating in some media sections that a large number of qualified youth left Pakistan due to unemployment, an official source in the OP&HRD ministry said the total number of emigrants who got foreign employment in 2019 included 45.5 per cent skilled, 39.72 per cent unskilled, 10.64 per cent semi-skilled, 2.53 per cent highly qualified and 1.56 per cent highly skilled workforce.
Talking to APP, he said 217,499 laborers and 161,226 drivers went abroad for different job assignments in 2019.
The official said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Syed Zulfikar Bukhari, had held consultations with the relevant authorities in different states to augment the number of Pakistani workers abroad.
He said that Zulfi Bukhari had formally requested the Saudi authorities to enhance the number of Pakistani workers in the multi-billion-dollar project, the New Taif City.
He said that Saudi Arabia had also extended an offer for Pakistan’s manpower export through “Musaned,” a digital platform launched by the Kingdom to facilitate the labour recruitment process and ensure the protection of workers’ rights.
The process would take some months and after that the Pakistani workforce would be sent to Saudi Arabia through the online platform, he added.
The official said the ministry was also in the process of linking up its digital portal with the UAE to set up a direct link between its intending immigrants and foreign employers.
The initiative would eventually minimize the middleman’s role in the recruitment process, he added, and help the country train its workforce as per the international markets’ requirements.