S. Sulawesi needs more skilled workers
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The number of skilled migrant workers, employed in a number of industries, including hospitality, healthcare, textiles and agriculture, from South Sulawesi reached 10,000 during the first half of this year, 50 percent of the overall 2012 target of 20,000.
This year’s target, set by the South Sulawesi provincial administration, is slightly lower than the 22,000 skilled workers sent abroad last year.
The migrant workers are mostly sent to Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Middle East and Singapore.
South Sulawesi’s Manpower and Transmigration Agency head, Saggaf Saleh, said that officials in his agency had recruited 200 nurses to work in Japan, and 40 other workers, who would be sent to Australia to work in the hospitality industry.
“We have undergone a series of recruitment drives to search for skilled workers to work in health care and hospitality,” said Saggaf.
Every year, he continued, the Japanese government demanded more workers, particularly nurses, saying that the nurses from the province met Japanese standards.
The administration also recently sent 25 healthcare professionals to work in Singapore, along with 12 migrants for the hospitality industry in Australia.
“They are professional workers. They have been trained for more than a month prior to departure,” South Sulawesi Governor Syahrul Yasin Limpo said, adding that the training included learning English.
Syahrul said the 37 workers would work as interns at a number of hospitals and hotels in the two countries. He hoped they would gain fruitful experiences during their internships and apply their knowledge when they returned home.
Saggaf added that so far, no problem had been reported by any of the migrant workers, since they were legal migrants who earned decent salaries and had legal protection.
He also said the administration had decided against sending domestic workers abroad as this could be too risky for the workers themselves, following horrific reports of abuse and violence against women migrant workers by their employers.
While trying to increase the number of skilled migrants, the administration has also been struggling to tackle the issue of illegal workers.
Every year, around 80,000 to 100,000 illegal migrant workers sought to earn a living in neighboring countries, especially Malaysia, the agency reported.