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Limited options for Pakistanis to secure jobs aboard

The fascination for securing a job aboard is heightened amid limited employment options in the country. Saudi Arabia and UAE have been the two most popular and leading employers for Pakistanis aboard. However, the recent numbers don’t show a very pleasant picture with decreasing demand of Pakistani workforce in many countries. Experts assert this trend to the demand of high skilled workers in many developed economies and Pakistani labor is falling short of this criteria.

Saudi Arabia and Middle East: The saving grace

According to the recent numbers submitted to senate by Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Pir Syed Sadaruddin Shah Rashidi, Saudi Arabia and UAE have provided employment to majority of Pakistanis working aboard. Out of a total workforce of 947,718, more than 55% (522,932) have secured jobs in Saudi Arabia as of 2015. While UAE has employed 34% (326,995) with both countries providing 90% jobs to all Pakistanis working overseas.

In the context of declining oil prices globally, Saudi Arabian economy is under severe pressure being one of the largest exporters of oil worldwide. There has been a mammoth decline in crude oil prices plummeting to less than $30 per barrel this year that touched as high as $100 per barrel. Consequently, the demand of Pakistani workforce in Middle Eastern economies has shrunk. Nonetheless, it is still employing a major pie of Pakistani workers thus contributing significantly in Pakistan’s foreign remittances.

Qatar and Bahrain are other popular Middle Eastern destinations as the former employed 12,751 Pakistanis while the latter provided for 9,048 workers last year. Malaysia also has a significant number of 20,218 Pakistanis working for it. Yemen and Somalia provided jobs to 24 and 23 respectively.

Due to declining demand, Pakistanis are also exploring some African countries in their quest for better jobs. Uganda employed 37 Pakistanis while Algeria hosted 211 workers and Angola employed 22 Pakistanis during 2015. Azerbaijan and Cameroon also appeared on the list giving jobs to 8 and 2 persons respectively. Additionally, China and Cyprus also gave space to 355 and 500 Pakistanis last year.

Developed countries reluctant to employ Pakistanis

Developed countries have become very stringent in their criteria for adjusting less skilled labor. They require highly qualified skilled labor to meet their requirements. This is rarely giving any further chance to Pakistanis to find jobs in U.S.A and U.K.

Germany, South Korea, UK, Italy and U.S.A currently employ 44, 734, 261, 431, and 350 Pakistanis respectively.

While Turkey, Singapore, Greece, Hong Kong, Japan and Switzerland have given jobs to 57, 68, 2, 84, and 15 Pakistani workers during 2015.

Minister for overseas Pakistanis while stating the current situation said:

“However, as advanced and developed countries need highly skilled workers, Pakistanis cannot get many job opportunities in countries like the US, UK, Australia and others. An age has arrived when authorities must understand that producing a highly skilled workforce is the demand of the day and quality education is key to success to overcome any disaster regarding human resource”

Mr. Rashidi also commented that the authority should develop a crisis management system to adjust those Pakistanis who lose their jobs in case oil prices plummet further and Middle Eastern economies slump.

Source: Express Tribune

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