The country’s construction industry is ready to provide jobs for returning migrant workers who have the required experience, an official of a local contractors’ association said.

U Shein Win, chair of the Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Federation, said members of the group have job vacancies at construction sites for workers returning from foreign countries due to COVID-19.

He called on the workers to contact his office before July 17 if they are interested. “There are MCEF members all across the country,” he said. “If they drop a CV at our office, we will find them jobs and contact the construction sites appropriate for them.”

The federation would also help local construction companies navigate the government tender process if they need help.

U Shein Win said the government should promote tenders to create more jobs in the country

U Myo Myint, managing director of MKT Construction Co, said work had resumed at about 90 percent of construction sites in the country.

At the end of March, nearly all private construction sites in Yangon Region came to a halt due to COVID-19. But businesses reopened, and construction and government tenders resumed in early June.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned that millions of migrant workers worldwide could face unemployment and poverty after returning from abroad to their home countries.

Myanmar has seen the steady return of migrant workers from abroad in the past two months, with over 71,000 coming back from Thailand alone. Thousands have also returned from China, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea since March.

U Htoo Chit, executive director of the Foundation for Education and Development, said that while it is laudable for the government and private sector to offer help finding jobs to returning workers, they must make first increase wages.

U Kyaw Myint of the Confederation of Trade Unions said Myanmar’s daily minimum wage is K4800, while Thailand’s is more than three times that at 325 baht, or about K15,000.

Michelle Leighton, chief of the ILO’s Labour Migration Department said that with the right policies, the returning migrant workers could be a major resource in their home countries’ efforts to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

“These migrants will bring with them talents and new skills, and in some cases capital, that can support efforts in their home countries to rebuild better,” she said. – Translated

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