Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1049. Myanmar stories - work permits for nursing aides and maids

"You are earning $550 per month as a domestic worker," I said to the slim Mynamar lady who lived near Naypyidaw and who came to Khin Khin Employment Agency to look for job. "The employer is good. You have accommodation and meals provided. Why do you look for a job as a nursing aide?"

"My employer is returning to Hong Kong," she started working 5 years ago on $280/month. Now Myanmar maids get $400/month with 2 days off per month. The government takes around $270 as maid levy and so the Singapore employer is actually paying $670/month or more.

"You have worked 5 years in Singapore. Don't you want to go home to see your parents?"
Her parents are farmers who grow rice near Naypyidaw. They are around 50 years old. Farming is back breaking work and I guess this lady wanted a better life and salary. I hope she gets the nursing aide job. Her English is good since she has worked here for 5 years and should have no problem getting another work permit job.

"There is a vacancy for nursing aide," Khin Khin referred her to a 70-year-old Singaporean agent who specialises in the supply of nurses. Old employment agents (EA) still have the contacts and trust from Singapore employers but no good applicants.

"This Singapore agent has a share in a training school in Yangon that supplies nursing aides," Khin Khin told me. "He will source from his company usually but there is a lot of hassle and work involved. If I can supply an English-speaking nursing aide, he will place her easily."

The applicant spoke to the Singaproe agent by phone and went for the interview on the same day.
"Any good news?" I asked.
"Working hours are good. I work 3 days and get 2 days off."
"I know about private nursing job," I said. "3 days are actually 24-hour jobs."
I hope this lady gets her job before her employers return to Hong Kong as she will then have to return to Yangon. Once there, it is much more difficult going for interviews to find an employer.

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