(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia has offered its expertise in training Sri Lankan domestic aides to hone their skills before they come for employment in the Kingdom.
Saad Al-Badaah chairman of the Saudi Arabian National Recruitment Committee (SANARCOM) offered such assistance to the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) when he met its Chairman Amal Senalankadhikara in Colombo on Friday.
Al-Badaah is currently leading a six-member delegation in Colombo to discuss obstacles facing the recruitment of domestic workers to the Kingdom.
The talks between the two parties focused on issues faced by recruitment offices and also explored solutions that would suit the employers as well as the employees.
Al-Badaah said the SANARCOM could send trainers to train the trainers in Colombo who offer them one-month training for the Saudi-bound domestic aides.
He told the Colombo officials that the Saudi trainers would be able to tell the Sri Lankan trainers on the expectations of the Saudi sponsors who employ domestic aides.
Among others who were present at the discussions were Nissanka N. Wijeratne secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare and Mangala Randeniya SLBFE general manager.
Speaking to Arab News following the meeting Mangala Randeniya who is also the spokesman of the SLBFE said that SANARCOM had requested health care nurses from Sri Lanka to look after elders in Saudi homes.
'This is a new opening and Colombo is interested in training females for this purpose' the official said.
Randeniya said that the Saudi delegation is also keen on mplementing the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed early this year between Labor Minister Adel Fakeih and Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dilan Perera in Riyadh.
The labor agreement for domestic workers recruitment was a joint effort by Riyadh and Colombo to create a unified and well-regulated system for recruitment with emphasis on monitoring the working conditions of Sri Lankans.
It will cover 12 categories of domestic workers including housemaids drivers cleaners and waiters employed by individuals.
The agreement includes provisions that stipulate that contracts should be in a language that is understood by the worker and that the worker must be informed of what to do and whom to turn to in case of an emergency.
'It is a government to government agreement; it is the Saudi side which has to give the green light for implementation' he added.
There are some 550000 Lankan workers in the Kingdom and a good number belong to the domestic sector.
The official said the SANARCOM had also expressed concerns on maids running away from Saudi homes within three months from their arrival in the Kingdom.
'Al-Badaah complained that the Saudi sponsor spends more than SR 20000 to recruit a maid on a two-year contract' Randeniya said explaining that the SLBFE realizes this agony of the Saudi sponsor when their maids run away from homes as soon as they come from Colombo.
As a result of this problem Randeniya said the two parties agreed to recruit housemaids through reputed companies to ensure guarantee of these workers' stay in the Kingdom during the contact period.