The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) will offer short-term skills and social welfare training for prospective Sri Lankan migrant workers with the opening of its first Pre-Orientation Departure Centre at Airport Junction, Katunayake.

The centre will be registered as the first skills and social training institute, opened by the SLBFE for the benefit of Sri Lankan workers who leave the country for foreign employment.

Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera told the Sunday Observer that over 1.6 million Sri Lankans are employed overseas and, therefore, offering a last minute skills and welfare training program for workers is urgently need, especially for those who secure foreign jobs for the first time.

The Bureau will also provide a short-term comprehensive training program for prospective migrant workers on the language of each country, the social and religious background of the countries they propose to work and how to handle sophisticated equipment at their workplaces.

They will be trained by Bureau staffers and this facility will help improve their standard of the Sri Lankan workforce to reach international levels.

Minister Perera said that it was the Government’s responsibility to look into the welfare of migrant workers, considering their immense contribution to the country’s economy. SLBFE Chairman Amal Senalankadhikara said the centre consists of a conference hall and a hostel for those who arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport and also from remote areas in Sri Lanka.

Facilities will also be available for female migrant workers to have their make-up done at the centre before their departure.