Report stresses on creating good jobs amid reconstruction and migration

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KATHMANDU — Reconstruction and migration are challenges, but also opportunities to shift the way Nepal rebuilds its economy and looks to the future.

This is an excerpt from a study report ‘Rebuilding Nepal: Creating Good Jobs Amid Reconstruction and Migration’, released here today. The report was prepared by the Solidarity Center in collaboration with the JustJobs Network.

Among the recommendations of the report include: leveraging reconstruction efforts to strengthen economic activity, and creating more and better employment; instituting a long-term plan for the creation of quality jobs in the construction sector; crafting economic development strategies centred on investing in human capital; and developing innovative policy tools to harness the productive potential of migrant workers’ talents and resources.

Skills development initiatives should focus on preparing Nepali workers for domestic production opportunities. With greater coordination between government ministries, Nepali workers can be trained to fill skills needs in priority sectors of development. The skills of returning migrant workers (beyond construction) could be channeled to further develop sectors like tourism and hospitality and promote good job creation, the report states.

The report is jointly prepared by Gregory Randolph and Prachee Agrawal.

It has recommended to the government to bring policies so that the remittances send by the millions Nepali migrant workers in foreign countries could be utilized in the productive sectors.

Chief Executive Officer of the National Reconstruction Authority, Dr Govinda Raj Pokharel said the report released today would be very useful and the topics incorporated in it would be helpful while formulating programmes in the days ahead.

Stating that although unskilled workers were found skilled workers could not be found for the reconstruction, CEO Pokharel announced that three skill development training would be organized at the local levels of the earthquake-affected districts.

Solidarity Center Sri Lanka’s country director Alonzo Suson stressed that Nepal should bring programmes for promoting job creation within the country rather than depending on the remittances.

President of the Joint Trade Union Coordination Committee, Ganesh Regmi, general secretary of the South Asia Regional Trade Union Coordination Committee, Laxman Basnet, president of Nepal Trade Union Congress, Khilanath Dahal among other trade union leaders pointed out the need of cultivating a culture of respecting work in the country.

The cycle of migration, with its short-run benefits of remittance income, has disincentivized adoption of long-term policy solutions to address the lack of decent jobs. However, post-earthquake reconstruction provides a unique moment to rebuild the country and advance a new economic model, creating jobs that protect worker rights, pay fair wages and boost the economic status of Nepalis, the report recommends.