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The Financial Express

Job growth rate too slow to meet 2030 target

CPD study suggests attaching due priority to employment issue


FE REPORT | Published: January 22, 2020 10:05:19 | Updated: January 27, 2020 13:20:18


CPD Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan speaking at a dialogue in the city on Tuesday — FE photo CPD Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan speaking at a dialogue in the city on Tuesday — FE photo

Discussants at a dialogue held in Dhaka on Tuesday suggested the government not judging the country's macroeconomic scenario only by the growth rate but also by the generation of new jobs.

The suggestion came in the light of inadequate generation of employment opportunities in recent years against the target set for the same until 2030.

With the current employment growth rate, the government cannot attain its target of creating 30 million fresh jobs by 2030, said a study report, prepared by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and presented at the dialogue.

To avoid such an unpleasant scenario, the report suggested the government to review its existing activities in the areas like education, skill development and information technology as part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report titled 'empowering the marginalised youths for the labour market through effective public service delivery' was shared at the dialogue on 'role of public service delivery in ensuring employment for the marginalised youth community'.

CPD Distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya moderated the dialogue.

Presenting the report, the CPD Research Director Khondaker Golam Moazzem said there are about 11 million youths, aged between 15 and 24 years, among the country's 64.1 million labour force.

"This number of youth increases to one-third of the total labour force, if the age group covers youths aged between 15-29 years."

On the livelihood, education, training and employment facilities the youth are now exposed to, he said there is a lack of quality public service delivery in these areas for the youths.

"With the current rate of employment growth, the government cannot achieve more than 50 per cent of its target of providing 30 million jobs by 2030."

Citing the study, Mr Moazzem suggested giving priority to the marginalised youths in different types of jobs available with the upcoming special economic zones (SEZs) and BSCIC industrial estates.

The CPD Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan said the government should look into the actual employment growth rate and analyse the country's overall macro-economic stability in that context.

Terming ensuring transparency in employment process a challenge, he said the government should ensure an atmosphere where merit and efficiency will be considered as major criteria for getting jobs, not political or some other identity.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu said lack of coordination among the public entities has long been causing problems in getting maximum output from various initiatives of the government.

He said 22 ministries are involved in various skill development activities, and each takes measures in this regard without consulting others.

Under such circumstances, the government formed the National Skill Development Authority under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to get required outcome, he added.

Ruling party lawmaker Nahim Razzaq said there is lack of transparency and accountability in public service delivery, which needs to be improved for better outcome.

Highlighting the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), he said the training curriculum should be matched with the market demand.

BNP lawmaker Rumin Farhana said the government always talks about higher economic growth, whereas the rate of employment growth has been declining.

"We have not yet seen large-scale application of artificial intelligence in local factories and companies. Then why is the employment growth rate declining? She asked suspecting authenticity of the government data on economic growth.

The CPD Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UCEP Bangladesh Tahsinah Ahmed, and CEO and co-founder of Bdjobs Fahim Mashroor, among others, also spoke at the dialogue.

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