The Financial Express
Swasti Lankabangla Swasti Lankabangla

Developing a sound employment policy

| Updated: August 31, 2020 21:21:49

Developing a sound  employment policy

Since long, it has admittedly been a huge challenge before the policymakers as young people in greater numbers have been swelling the ranks of the unemployed workforce every year. So, there has been a long-felt need to meet the challenge with an appropriate set of policy responses. They ought to be data-based, time-bound and futuristic. Commendably, the government has finally come up with such a policy styled, National Employment Policy 2020, which, it claims, aims to generate 30 million jobs by 2030. The move, albeit still in its formative stage, hopefully aims to be a bold and forward-looking one. What is further appreciable is that the ministry of labour and employment is also learnt to have thought of creating a fully-fledged department dedicated solely to addressing the issue of employment under its aegis.

Understandably, the proposed draft policy now reportedly placed on the ministry's website to incorporate inputs from different stakeholders as well as experts will be further perfected before it takes its final shape. So far so good. Now the next phase of the task would be to have a roadmap before them to move ahead. Understandably, it will involve analysing and classifying the existing as well as the emerging job markets both at home and abroad. And at the same time, prepare the youth population coming from varied social and economic backgrounds for the jobs that suit them depending on their skills. It goes without saying that this job selection phase would necessarily be preceded by training programmes run on a nationwide scale to develop skills of the employable youths.

However, readying the youths for the job market cannot be an end in itself. The fact that more than 85 per cent of our entire home market jobs are in the informal sector is certainly not what we are seeking to achieve as the standard of the country's job market or of its economy for that matter. So, the emphasis should be on creating a workforce that is skilled in diverse fields including manufacturing apart from services and mechanised agriculture. Their productive capacity has to be significantly augmented. The state of our expatriate workers becomes evident from the fact that 62 per cent of them are unskilled labourers. The situation needs to be improved through creating a more educated and skilled and as such quality workforce not only for the overseas but also for the home market.

Towards that end, the policymakers will have to take up the added challenge of creating a workforce that is healthier, educated and trained to compete for higher value jobs. Obviously, that would require us to start with an education system that is not geared simply to giving just a certificate to our children at the end of their education career. On the contrary, it should be one that can earn them the job they have prepared themselves for. This is the only way to develop the country's human capital and at the same time increase the competitive edge of our manpower as well as our manufactured goods in the world market. And we have little option to lag behind at a time when the world economy is fast shifting towards its next phase, the fourth industrial revolution. Therefore, the national employment policymakers will be required to factor all these considerations into their programmes to build the country's workforce so it might meet challenges of the future.


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