Bangladeshi Skilled Workers Flock to UK in Record Numbers for Various Roles

Bangladeshi Skilled Workers Flock to UK in Record Numbers for Various Roles

In a unique trend, Bangladesh has experienced a significant upswing in sending skilled workers to the United Kingdom, particularly in roles involving caregiving, domestic assistance, and hospitality services.

Recent data from the Bureau of Manpower, Employment, and Training (BMET) reveals that as of August 10, 2023, a total of 4,107 skilled workers from Bangladesh have found employment across diverse sectors in the UK. This marks an unprecedented high for a single year, surpassing the previous record of 2,793 workers hired from Bangladesh by the UK in 2005.

This rise can be attributed to several factors. The decreased influx of migrant labor from Europe following Brexit, the lingering impacts of the pandemic causing workforce strain, and the UK government’s strict stance against hiring undocumented labor have all contributed to this surge.

However, it’s important to note that unauthorized agencies in both source and destination countries are taking advantage of this trend. These agencies are charging exorbitant fees from workers for recruitment, as official agencies are not permitted to be involved in the process.

Md Abu Bakar Siddique, the managing director of World Vision Overseas, a recruiting agency, mentioned that while they are not directly sending workers to the UK, individuals seeking jobs are obtaining clearance cards through their agency. Over the past year, around 400-500 individuals have secured BMET cards for UK opportunities through their assistance.

Similarly, Md Abdul Malek of Fama Air Service stated that their firm has helped around 250-300 workers, mostly from the Sylhet region, secure emigration cards from BMET.

Over the past 18 months, Bangladesh has seen the recruitment of approximately 300 care workers, 280 restaurant waiters, 239 domestic workers, 98 chefs, 82 salespersons, and 48 caretakers for roles in the UK.

Interestingly, around 49% of Bangladeshi workers who found employment in the UK during the first half of the year were female, according to BMET estimates.

Md Mahabubur Rahman, an immigration expert, explained that those classified as “Skilled Workers” primarily secure positions in caregiving and the restaurant sector. Some also venture into fields like IT and web development, aided by the relatively accessible entry requirement of only four IELTS points.

Addressing the pressing need, he emphasized that with approximately 100,000 openings for caregiver positions, Bangladesh lacks sufficient formal education and training in this domain, urging the government to address this gap.

It’s worth mentioning that the UK’s most sought-after professions in 2023 include programmers, cybersecurity specialists, health services, architects, graphic designers, and physical scientists, as reported by various media sources.

The UK’s social care workforce has been bolstered by 58,000 overseas staff in the past year, following the government’s decision to add “care workers” and “home carers” to the shortage occupation list for skilled workers in 2022.

Despite the positive aspects, concerns have arisen over fraudulent activities by unregistered agencies capitalizing on the high demand for UK workers. Such agencies are allegedly charging more than 2 million taka per worker, exploiting the situation.

BMET DG Shahidul Alam stressed the importance of promoting employment opportunities in developed countries while also safeguarding job prospects for workers and preventing fraudulent practices.

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