After Nepalis, Tel Aviv bans Thai migrant workers

KATHMANDU: Israel has banned Thai workers from entering the country from the second week of February after nine months of a ban on Nepali workers.

The destination country on April 24, 2009 banned Nepali workers citing the growing number of illegal workers and irresponsible outsourcers.

The Interior Ministry is freezing all entry permits for Thai workers until further notice, Israeli news site reported.

The freeze came as part of a review of workers' status, a ministry source said. Last year, Israel had agreed to hire 26,000 Thai workers in 2010. Thai workers are engaged in the agriculture sector in Israel.

In response, farming sector officials cautioned that the shortage of agricultural workers will increase, thus severely damaging Israel's agriculture industry and exports.

Israeli farmers lost millions of shekels, Israeli currency, in potential European exports due to worker shortage last year.

In September 2009, the government decided to hold a tender for countries seeking to send agricultural workers to Israel.

The destination country has set two conditions -- service fee should be below 3,700 shekels and the workers should be trained -- for source countries to participate in the bidding process. The last date for submitting bids was set for February 28.

But the new development of banning blue-collar workers indicates that the deadline will be extended by a month or more.

As far is it known, Israel spoke with the governments of Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Nepal about agriculture workers but did not reach any agreements.

JITCO course ready

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) has prepared a 219-hour course for Japan International Training Cooperation Organisation (JITCO).

JITCO aspirants should devote 90 hours to training in Japanese language and grammar, 90 hours to speaking in and listening to Japanese, 30 hours to culture, 6 hours to basic occupation and 3 hours to learning about Japanese food. The ministry has forwarded the course details to JITCO office through the Japanese embassy here.

The course was designed by a group of experts from the Japanese embassy, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Japanese Language Teachers' Association, Nepal.

MoLTM has set a fee of Rs 7,000 for the course but the training institutes are yet to be selected.