On 16 May 2023, Michael Spindelegger, Director General of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), delivered keynote remarks during the 5th meeting of the Private Sector Engagement (PSE) for Reintegration in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Funded by the Return and Reintegration Facility (RRF) – an ICMPD-led and EU-funded programme - the PSE aims at setting up operational coordination mechanisms to better match returnees with potential employers from the private sector.
Director General Michael Spindelegger stated in his keynote remarks that “when I was asked what is special about ICMPD’s approach to labour migration, I said that I am convinced that it is extremely important to strongly involve the private sector and to engage in longer term planning.”
He further remarked that “As a country, we need to have a very good idea what kind of labour skills your private sector needs, and we need the private sector’s help and engagement in order to develop these specific skills in sending countries.”
For the 5th meeting, the specific topic discussed was related to business, livelihood and entrepreneurial opportunities for returnees. It featured speakers covering a wide range of fields such as the poultry and garments industry, Ministry of Industries and the association of cottage and small industries in Bangladesh. Earlier topics in previous meetings included employment, access to finance and skills development.
The Budapest Process Roadmap for Return and Reintegration was also presented. It has three sub-structures per country: (1) effective returns management; (2) post-arrival assistance and referral mechanisms; and (3) sustainable reintegration.
The Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment (MEWOE) chaired the meeting, being the Chair of the PSE network. The PSE is set-up to bring in the private sector to support returnees in their reintegration through employment, access to finance, skills development, business and livelihood.
The Private Sector Engagement for Reintegration was launched in 2021 and represents a partnership with approximately 42 members from the government, private sector, trade unions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and international organisations. They regularly meet to discuss updates on the PSE project activities and specific issues related to reintegration, including updates on various reintegration projects in the country from various organisations.
The PSE project is funded by the European Union through the Return and Reintegration Facility (RRF). The RRF supports European Member States and Schengen Associated Countries with increasing the effectiveness of their return and reintegration programming. It does so by providing operational and financial support to MS to facilitate the development of solutions and activities with an EU-added value in the area of return and reintegration, whilst bridging gaps between existing initiatives. Read more about the RRF here.