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Building bridges in the job market

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Digital literacy is becoming more than just a skill in the rapidly evolving 21st century; it is a career development catalyst that helps job seekers meet the dynamic demands of the contemporary job market. In our ever-digitalised world, using technology wisely is essential for people who want to succeed in their career.

Digital literacy encompasses many abilities, from basic computer competency to an in-depth understanding of cutting-edge technologies. These abilities are necessary for professionals to succeed in their respective industries in Bangladesh's highly competitive employment market.

As sectors undergo digital transformation, being able to use technology effectively becomes an essential differentiation factor in the job market. By bridging the gap between aspiring professionals and employers' changing needs, digital literacy eliminates conventional entry barriers across various industries.

Digital literacy has become especially noteworthy as a game-changer in a nation where the information technology sector is expanding at a rapid pace. Employers demand a wide range of digital skills, from tech coding and programming to data analysis and digital marketing, which positions people as contributors to the country's economic success.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also accelerated the adoption of online collaboration and remote work. Digital literacy has become essential for employees to switch smoothly to remote work environments. As time goes on, being proficient with digital technologies will remain essential for success in the workplace.

Training programmes and educational institutions are essential for promoting digital literacy. They play a crucial role in providing individuals with the skills needed to significantly contribute to the constantly changing dynamics of the job market.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's vision for a "Digital Bangladesh" is being actively realised with the guidance of the mastermind of the Digital Bangladesh initiative and promoting Vision 2021 by Sajeeb Wazed Joy. Their collaborative efforts are steering Bangladesh towards a technologically advanced future, fostering digital literacy, innovation, and inclusive development across the nation.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division of the Bangladesh government has been leading several programmes to promote digital literacy among the nation's people. The "Digital Bangladesh" concept has been a major motivator in making the country a digital, knowledge-based society. Under the directive of the ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the ICT Division has carried out several training initiatives to provide people with the fundamental and advanced digital skills they need.

The ICT Division has launched several initiatives that provide free training to people nationwide. To improve their employability in the digital age, participants in these programmes obtain practical experience in computer operation, graphic design, web development, digital marketing, Apps and games development, 4IR technology, and many other emerging skills.

Notable initiatives such as the Bangladesh High Tech Park Authority's Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship Project (PRIDE), the Learning & Earning Development Project, the Her Power Project, the EDGE Project, the Sheikh Kamal IT Training & Incubation Centre project, and other projects offer free training for digital literacy education. Another notable initiative is the "Sheikh Russell Digital Lab" project, which sets up state-of-the-art computer labs in educational facilities to guarantee that students have access to digital resources.

The State Minister for ICT, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, has been at the forefront of these initiatives, emphasising the importance of digital literacy in empowering individuals and fostering national development. His vision encompasses not only urban centres but also rural areas, ensuring inclusivity in digital education.

Various other government entities are also providing free training sessions to help people improve their skills in digital literacy. One of the notable training projects is the Skill for Employment Investment Program (SEIP), where people can enrol in various skill development programmes with certification free of charge.

These programmes are essential to democratising access to digital information and bridging the gap between rural and urban areas. The government is tackling issues of unemployment by improving the skill sets of its people and encouraging digital literacy by providing free training programmes. These initiatives highlight Bangladesh's dedication to developing a workforce that is competitive and proficient in the digital age, ready to flourish in the changing global job market.

People need to take an active role in their education to make the most of digital literacy's endless possibilities. Upskilling in a variety of digital sectors is made accessible through training, online workshops, certifications, and courses. Candidates who are dedicated to continuous learning and maintaining relevance in their industries are highly valued by employers.

Digital literacy is a dynamic force that helps people advance in their jobs, rather than just a collection of technical abilities. In Bangladesh, where the job market is changing quickly, adopting digital literacy is not just a matter of preference but also a matter of strategy. By creating connections between education and employment and between conventional knowledge and technological proficiency, we enable people to enter the workforce with competence and confidence. The time has come for digital literacy to be used as a catalyst for career advancement, and individuals who seize this opportunity will surely influence how work is done in Bangladesh going forward.

The writer is working as the head of Learning & Development at Intellier Limited, a subsidiary of Team Group.

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