Export skilled workers, minister says



Friday, February 4, 2005

Export skilled workers, minister says

Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Fahmi Idris has called on labor exporters to follow in the footsteps of the Binawan Group, which has begun exporting trained professionals.

"Binawan Group -- running an international-standard institute to produce health care professionals -- has set a good example, which should be followed by other labor export companies, in an endeavor to improve the bargaining power of workers employed overseas,increase the government's foreign exchange from labor export and help establish the country's good image abroad," he said over the weekend at a farewell party for more than 200 health care professionals workers here.

The paramedics, who graduated from the Binawan Institute of Health Sciences (Stikes Binawan) in Jakarta , left for Sydney on Saturday to complete their studies and work in Australian hospitals for two years. They will also take courses at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), to gain bachelors of nursing and be registered as nurses in Australia .

According to the labor contract with the Australian hospitals, the workers will be paid A$2,700 per month (Rp16 million).

Fahmi said the time has come for Indonesia to alter its labor export policy by gradually stopping to send unskilled workers, particularly housemaids, and, instead, beginning to supply professionals, to help improve the workers' bargaining power and avoid labor abuses overseas.

"The rampant abuse of Indonesian workers overseas has a lot to do with their poor knowledge and low skills -- two factors that have apparently caused their employers to underpay them and abuse them.

"Skilled workers know what their rights are and posses an ability to protect themselves in their workplace, as well as being paid in accordance with international standards," he said, adding that the government's remittance from labor export would double if workers were better qualified.

The minister said the presence of around 400,000 illegal immigrants in Malaysia and more than 50,000 in the Middle East was related to their lack of skills.

About 72 percent of Indonesian migrant workers are women. Over 90 percent of these women are employed as domestic workers in countries like Malaysia , Singapore , Hong Kong , Taiwan , South Korea and the Middle East . The two main destinations are Malaysia (40 percent) and Saudi Arabia (37 percent). Of these countries, only Hong Kong provides a legal framework for the protection of domestic workers' rights, such as working hours, standardized wages, leave and other conditions of employment.

The government remittance from migrant workers is estimated to reach between US$1.1 billion to $2.2 billion per year, making the labor export sector the second largest contributor to the country's foreign exchange revenue after oil and gas.

Meanwhile, the institute's rector Prof. Azrul Azwar said the institute is cooperating with the UTS to produce health care professionals who are employable overseas, through an international-standard curriculum.

"A number of developed countries, such as Britain , Norway , the United States , Canada , Australia , Germany , the Netherlands and Middle East countries have requested health care professionals from the institute," he said, citing that the institute's curriculum applies British and American standards.

Mr. Fahmi Idris , Indonesian Minister of Manpower and Transmigration in front of BIHS graduates who will be continuing their study dan starting employment in Australia.

From left to right: Indonesian Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Mr. Fahmi Idris, UTS representative Cheryl Waters and BIHS Rector Prof. Azrul Azwar. MPH


Friday the 20th. STIKes BINAWAN 2012
Copyright 2012


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