Hong Kong is going to recruit 20,000 Bangladeshi housemaids by next six months, said Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday.
“We would send female workers to Hong Kong under state arrangements on completion of detailed procedures very soon,” he told reporters at his secretariat office.
Hong Kong will recruit around 80,000 Bangladeshi domestic workers in four phases, the minister added.
Mosharraf gave the information after a meeting with a delegation of the Association of Bangladesh Employment Agencies (AOBEA) in Hong Kong at his office to discuss the process.
The interested workers would be selected through online registration that might start within the next two to three weeks, the minister said.
The monthly wage for a female domestic worker would be around Tk 40,000 ($490) and the employers would bear the airfare and other migration costs, he added.
Migration cost for each of them will be around Tk 40,000.
Initially, the selected jobseekers will not have to bear any expenditure, as their migration costs would be borne by the employers. However, the costs would be later deducted from their monthly wages in two years.
The selected workers will be given two months' compulsory training by trainers of the government, the minister said.
They will be given training on Chinese and English speaking, child rearing, preparing Chinese food and housekeeping, said officials of the ministry.
Hong Kong is interested to recruit Bangladeshi housemaids, as its main sources of overseas domestic workers have started curbing the flow of their citizens.
Earlier in September last year, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported that the country and its employment agencies were looking for new labour markets following a ban on employment from its mainland maids.
Around 97.6 percent of Hong Kong's total housemaids were recruited from the Philippines and Indonesia.
The country is now facing shortage of housemaids as the Philippines and Indonesia are not sending their women following reports of abuse, added the newspaper.
The recruiting agencies of Hong Kong had earlier held a series of talks with their government about opening a new window of workers from Myanmar and Vietnam in vain.
Expatriates' Welfare Secretary Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan said they had taken the decision to send Bangladeshi housemaids after necessary observations regarding workers' security.
“The Philippines is narrowing its supply of housemaids as the country's economic condition has improved. We will monitor the entire process and work with the Hong Kong authorities to ensure our women' safety,” he told The Daily Star.
Hong Kong would recruit the housemaids under an agreement between the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training and the General Chamber of Hong Kong signed in May of 2012.
A Bangladeshi delegation led by Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training Director General Begum Shamsoon Nahar visited Hong Kong in November last year and held talks with the authorities concerned in this regard.