Govt relooks at labour market to tap potentials with skilled workers

Saturday, 8 August 2020

The government considers enhancing the skills of the country’s capable population and their productivity to fulfill the demand of the labour markets, both at home and abroad, aiming to face the adverse impact of COVID-19 that devastated the national economy.

Some 12.0 million Bangladeshi people are engaged in various jobs in 178 countries across the globe, reports UNB quoting an official document.

In the last 10 years, 66,33,000 professional, skilled, semiskilled and unskilled people went to various countries taking various jobs, which is 60 per cent of the total employment abroad.

But the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have badly affected the foreign job market and the government is continuing its diplomatic efforts to save their jobs.

Besides, the prolonged government-sponsored holidays in the country that had started in the last week of March also cast a serious impact on the job market in the country.

According to an estimate of the Asian Development Bank, some 1.4 million Bangladeshis have lost their jobs.

Bangladesh enjoys a facility of demographic dividend as a huge capable population is included in the total population each year.

Against this backdrop, the government has already announced stimulus packages of Tk 1.03 trillion or different sectors from RMG to agriculture to keep up the high economic growth and create more jobs for the capable population.

As per the government document, the government has taken various programmes with assistance from development partners to skill up the manpower so that they could get better jobs at home and abroad.

The World Bank on June 19 approved financing the Second Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit to provide some US$ 250 million to Bangladesh as development policy credit.

The project aims to support Bangladesh government’s reform programme to address the country’s job challenges by modernising the trade and investment environment, strengthening systems that protect workers and build resilience and improving policies and programmes that enhance access to jobs for vulnerable populations, especially during the pandemic.

The Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit is aimed at supporting Bangladesh to develop a stronger policy and institutional framework to address barriers to creating more jobs for citizens, including women, youths and the vulnerable population.

To promote large-scale employment in diverse manufacturing sectors, the reform programme will help improve the investment environment, lift barriers to doing business, and modernize customs and trade facilitation. The programme will also help implement amendments to the labour law and reform the pensions programme to make sure workers are protected.

Another programme titled ‘Skills for Employment Investment Programm’ (SEIP) for providing market-responsive skill training through partnerships with public institutes, industry associations and other organisations, covering skill requirements in 10 industry sectors is also going on, according to the document.

Under this programme of Finance Division, some 841,680 youths will be trained to develop their skills which will be helpful for them to get jobs at home and abroad. Some 428,000 youths have already got their training while some 248,000 have been appointed in the jobs.

Youth Development Department is implementing a project called National Service Programme, under which youths are receiving training and being engaged in temporary jobs.

The government has also activated National Skills Development Authority for coordinating government's various skill development activities.

The government also formed National Human Resource Development Fund for ensuring smooth financing for skill development programmes.