Tajikistan is hugely dependent on the funds sent home by its expat workforce, but as the Russian economy sheds low-skilled labour, experts are calling for better training so that those travelling abroad have more to offer.
Almost all of the one million-plus nationals of Tajikistan working abroad go to Russia, and three-quarters of them are in the building trade. Russia’s construction industry has been hard hit by declining investment, and foreign manual workers are the first to be sacked.
Education experts say Tajikistan needs better vocational training, and a shift in focus away from humanities towards technical subjects at university level.
Many migrant workers, however, still come to Russia with few qualifications and a limited grasp of the language, which leaves them at the lower end of a contracting job market.
Galim Faskhutdinov is a radio journalist in Tajikistan.