Mongolian government proclaimed 2011 the Employment Support Year. The question is which country’s employment they are supporting indeed.
Today, approximately 150,000 Mongolian citizens work and study abroad. 30 thousand Mongolians work in Europe, 25 thousand in South Korea, 15 thousand in the United States and 4 thousand in Japan, while 35 thousand studies in above and other countries around the world.
Since 2004, thousands of Mongolians were exported to South Korea to do jobs the Koreans refuse to do because of work conditions and low pay, under a contract between Mongolian Government and a Korean NGO.
Last week, during the visit by Mongolian premier to South Korea, they renewed the contract to send more Mongolians to Korea, to which our Labor minister looked very happy on a TV broadcast. There is no doubt that Mongolians working abroad are making considerable contribution to the country’s economy.
The annual income from labor export or the amount of money Mongolians abroad transfer to their families is approximately US$200 million.
However, there is no calculation yet about how much damage with this money cause to their health and how many families break apart because of this money. Meanwhile, the number of foreigners coming to Mongolia for employment has been increasing rapidly. In 2009, there were over 31 thousand foreign workers in Mongolia, 85% of which were the Chinese, and 4.0% the Russians.
This figure increased 2.2 times in 2010, reaching 68,500. 74% of them were from China, 5.3% from Russia and 4.0% from South Korea.
These foreign workers transfer money to their families, growing our import size. Half of foreign nationalities are employed here in mining industry.
If 30% of foreign workers in Mongolia engaged in construction, it reduced down to 13% in 2010. According to this trend, the number of inbound foreign workers is likely to surpass the number of Mongolian workers to go abroad, at the end of 2011, the Year to support employment.
There is a paradox in Mongolia that the country hires so many foreigners when 15% of the country’s one-million labor reserve has gone abroad and another 15% is unemployed home.
Why such paradox exists in Mongolia? To this question, we, the citizens, should demand answer only from the Government of Mongolia, not anyone else.
Competent authorities are supposed to mobilize their minds and skills towards developing a policy intended to employ Mongolians at home, increase productivity and value of Mongolian man and raise their salary based on thorough studies, and dealing with everything hindering to achieve these tasks.
The biggest obstacle that hinders a Mongolian man to work home is that recruiting a person has become a profitable business in Mongolia.
Monthly spending of an employer recruiting a man is equivalent to 110% of salary payable to a worker. Meanwhile, a worker brings only 2/3 of his salary to home because the rest is forcefully deducted by the State as tax. But yet there no service equivalent to the money the citizens pay as pension and health insurances. On the contrary, there is also a problem with individuals.
A big part of population lives on regardless they have no job. It is because another party of population supports or ‘feeds’ the other party.
Politicians encourage parasite lifestyle among the population by distributing various cash allowances, which make the population believe that they can live on without working at all.
The most people do not recognize that their relatives work beyond normal loads and conditions to transfer few dollars for families. Such people misbelieve that working abroad is so easy and have no idea about how it is hard to work in abroad.
For this reason, the line of visa applicants spending days outside the foreign embassies in the city remains for many years. There is emerging deformation in labor relations of Mongolians and we now judge the labor not from the view of demand but punishment.
Our growing economy brings workers from abroad because current human resource preparation and vocational training cannot meet increasing market demand.
We are about to pass this life only talking about reforming training and education system rapidly.
We have an opportunity in hand to increase the participation of Mongolian people in rapidly-growing mining industry, particularly the contribution of Mongolian specialists in every mining-related field, at first instance.
If we grant tax incentives to those investors training and employing Mongolians, then it would be a real support that enable Mongolians get employed in own homeland.
In developing the mining industry and preparing required personnel, we need to look beyond the task to meet current labor demand and prepare Mongolian specialists capable of working on the latest technology in line with environment friendly and safe standard.
Only then, Mongolian specialists will be invited abroad for employment and our Government will not need to ask foreigners employ Mongolians for jobs which they refuse to do at all.