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Analysis of Labour Market and Migration Trends in Nepal
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Nepal will continue to experience an exponential increase in the working-age population that need to be provided with employment opportunities. If the current levels of growth rate persist, the working-age cohort of the counry’s population will exceed 20 million by 2025, meaning there will be an additional 5 million people entering the workforce by that period. In this context, foreign labour migration is likely to have equalising effects by reducing the supply pressure and providing alternative employment and livelihood opportunities for many, especially if the sluggish economic growth patterns within Nepal persist.Labour migrants from Nepal are typically males from working-age groups and with low levels of educational attainment and skills qualifications. As this trend is likely to remain, a significant proportion of the working-age population will find it difficult to find desirable employment opportunities at home. As a result, these individuals are likely to seek employment abroad, particularly given the continued demand for unskilled or low-skilled labourers in the Gulf countries and Malaysia.In the major destination countries, especially countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Malaysia, demand pressures for foreign workers will continue in the short to medium terms because of the need to exploit oil and gas resources as well as sustain their current development trajectories. However, the combination of their own growing workforce, women’s increased labour force participation rates, nationalisation policies, increasing control over visa trading, tighter control over visa requirements and employment quotas, and declining oil prices and supply, points to the volatility of the demand for foreign migrant workers, especially in the highly-skilled categories over the long term.The current growth trajectories in the major labour-receiving countries suggest that a sizeable proportion of job creation will be in industries that rely heavily on low- skilled or even unskilled work (i.e., construction, agriculture, manufacturing, electrical and electronics, services), indicating an increase in the demand for migrant workers in these sectors. For these workers, prior work experience, physical and mental well-being along with other factors such as the cost of hiring, their availability, social networks and perceptions about the workers as well as prior experience of employers with certain nationalities, determine their recruitment and employment prospects.The recruitment process in Nepal is costly, time-consuming and cumbersome, which has negatively affected the demand as well as timely supply of labourers from Nepal. The current procedural requirements in the recruitment process—establishing the demand for Nepali workers, attesting the demand request, obtaining pre-approval for the demand request, advertising the positions, acquiring visa stamping letter, securing final approval for sending workers abroad are procedures that recruitment agencies and even migrant workers perceive as being cumbersome and lengthy. This has not only compromised officially sanctioned procedures and affected the governance of the labour migration sector but also impacted the perceptions and appeal of Nepali workers. The general perception in the destination countries of the Nepali government as overprotective and the labour recruitment process being over-regulated has meant that Nepal has not been able to establish a comparative advantage for its workers vis-à-vis other nationalities.
GiZ, EU, BMZ, ILO ,   (2015 )
Type / Script:
Progress Report in English
Thematic Group:
 ILO : International Labor & Labor
12.01.00  -  Employment Promotion And Planning
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