x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

UAE recruiters welcome move to reduce orientation training for Filipino maids

The Philippine government approves shorter pre-departure seminars for domestic workers to help clear the hiring backlog in the Middle East.

ABU DHABI // Recruiters have welcomed news that Filipinas planning to work as domestic staff in the Middle East have had their orientation course reduced to two days from three.

And for those recruited for Saudi Arabia, it means their seminars will be halved from four days.

It is hoped the move will clear a backlog after Filipinas bound for the region had to wait between three weeks and two months for a place in the course.

"We are very positive it will help solve the existing backlog problem," said Madolyn Uanang, the president of the Philippine Association of Manpower Agencies for UAE. "There will be additional classes held every week to enable more people to attend the pre-departure orientation seminar."

The course in the Philippines is intended to familiarise the workers with their contracts, and the country in which they will work.

The backlog was blamed on a large number of contracts from Saudi since January, and affected workers bound for the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and other countries in the region.

"Workers were left stranded and many had their visas cancelled due to a delay in their deployment," said Ms Uanang.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) met recruitment agencies on Thursday last week to find solutions to the problem.

Carmelita Dimzon, the head of Owwa, on Tuesday said the Philippine labour department had approved its proposal for the shorter course.

"The move will not only help ease the backlog, but provide the private sector with a chance to participate in the government's affairs," said Emmanuel Geslani, a recruitment consultant in Manila.

The two-day programme for domestic workers features a one-day pre-departure orientation session, training in language and culture and a stress-management course.

Filipinos who are set to leave the country to work are required to attend the seminar to familiarise themselves with the employment contract, the profile of the country, health and safety, airport procedures and government programmes and services.

"Agencies will send their representatives to Owwa where they will be educated on some modules," said Ms Uanang.

"We can handle airport procedures, culture and some of the do's and don'ts while working and living abroad. Our programme prepares workers for their life overseas. It's for their own protection."