The Maldivian economy is heavily dependent on fisheries and tourism, which are the major sources of foreign exchange earnings and government revenue. In terms of employment, these two sectors alone account for more than a third of total employment. The total workforce of the country is estimated at around 50 percent of the working age population, skill and unskilled worker is scarce in Maldives which, coupled with the low level of educated worker, has led to a high proportion of foreign workforce in the country in order to meet the shortages. Therefore foreign worker played a key role in the development of the Maldivian economy. There are an estimated 80,000 foreign workers, mostly work in teachers, medical personnel and other professionals as well as a large number of lower-skilled workers such as domestic helpers and construction workers. 95 percent of construction groups operating in the country were Maldivian owned. However, as the country’s second largest industry on a GDP basis, the vast majority of employees in the sector were migrant workers. “Latest statistics have shown that the expatriate workers’ community in the Maldives has reached 79,777. This has been contrasted strikingly with the local population of about 330,000. According to the statistics, 73,629 male foreign workers work in the Maldives, while the total of female expatriate workers is at 6184.
Most foreign laborers are employed in the construction industry, where there are 34260 of them. Second is the tourism industry, which has employed 13488 expatriates. In the fishing industry there are 1103 foreign workers. 4595 foreigners work at teashops, cafés and restaurants, while 2114 foreigners work in the education sector. In the financial sector, the total is 6860 and 9946 expatriates work in the community and social services sectors.
According to a survey done in 2010, 98393 of the Maldivian population are employed, while 38493 people are unemployed. According to the statistics, unemployment rate in the Maldives was at 28.1 per cent. Statistics also shows that, most expatriates in the Maldives are from Bangladesh, and out of the Bangladeshi foreign workers in the country, 69 per cent is residing in the Maldives illegally. 18 per cent of the remaining expatriates are also residing in the country illegally. Illegal workers in the country have cost the government some 168.4 million rufiyaa, in unpaid visa fees during the years 2009, 2010 and 2011.” (© 2011 Sun Media Group, 2013)
BENEFITS OF EMPLOYING FOREIGN WORKERS
The current situation with respect to foreign worker was created by the unprecedented economic growth of the past two decades and the inability to train Maldivian for the jobs that were being created. The growth in per capita income of Maldives and the relative affluence compared to other south Asian countries and maximize profits. Foreign workers certainly contribute to the economy of the Maldives. Some industries, such as tourism and construction, which heavily rely on foreign workers, cannot be constant without them. Maldives has continued to depend on foreign teacher since teaching in English medium began. Maldives has not been able to train sufficient number of accountants for the increasing number of companies and enterprises and has been able to train sufficient number of doctors or nurses to operate its hospital and other health services without contribution from foreign workers. There are many good factors of employing foreign workers. They work longer hours, travel any place at any time, have fewer off-days, food and accommodation are cheap, salary is not high to pay. Foreign workers are almost always cheap. Foreign worker from south Asia are attracted to Maldives because they can earn higher salaries than at home. This means that we can get a good supply of cheap workers and this will make it more competitive and increase profits of the...