Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has called for the creation of a suitable environment to effectively utilise the huge population for the sake of national development.
One-fifth of the total population of the country remains youth, but the unemployment rate among them is twice the national level rate, says TIB in a media statement issued on the occasion of International Youth Day 2022.
To this effect, the TIB also recommended a nine-point recommendation including development for education and employment generation to ensure youth’s leading role in building sustainable national development, a well-governed and corruption-free society.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of TIB, said, “Considering the recently published Population and Housing Census 2022, Bangladesh has a great demographic potential in the hands of the youth population.”
However, the entirety of that potential depends on how effectively this vast youth pollution is being groomed while creating employment opportunities for them, he pointed out.
In this regard, Bangladesh is not in a satisfactory state according to the data of 'The Global Employment Trends for Youth-2022', he stated.
Citing the report, Dr Zaman also said the youth unemployment rate in Bangladesh is estimated at 10.6 per cent whereas the unemployment rate at the national level stands at only 4.2 per cent.
The majority of the population affected by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years has been the youth, he said, adding that there was, however, still no concerted measure to turn this massive youth population into skilled and employable.
Terming it as so disappointing, he, however, says “Considering the future of the country, it is most important to take this initiative urgently."
Reminding of the fact, he also mentioned that conventional education in the country is failing to create useful and job market-oriented skills.
Dr Zaman said, "A recently published survey reveals that 47 per cent of the country’s educated people are still unemployed”.
The key reason is that the skills required to join the workforce cannot be acquired with the knowledge gained from formal education, according to him.
Although this problem is slowly emerging, there are no collected efforts to resolve it, which is really a matter of concern, he said.
Perhaps the most alarming is the attempt to deny or reject the true number of unemployed among the country's youth population, he continued.
To come out of this trend, it is the demand of the time to introduce an employment-friendly educational system and take initiatives to formulate policies, implement and allocate budget for youth employment creation, he stated.
Considering the promising youth population as a key driver of national achievement, TIB proposes the following recommendations to ensure the inclusion of youth in sustainable development, good governance and corruption-free society in particular:
1. According to the demand of the international labour market, the youth population should be educated and technically skilled in work-oriented education;
2. Uninterrupted education should be ensured through special incentives for financially poor and women students. Special measures should be taken for disabled, tribal and socially backward communities;
3. Emphasis should be placed on technical education in addition to the allocation to the education sector in line with the recommendations of the United Nations;
4. Employment should be created for the youth through short, medium and long-term specific plans. Initiatives should be taken to start the small and medium industries from which the youth are unemployed through special incentives;
5. Incentives should be provided for young entrepreneurs. Initiatives should be taken to prepare unemployed youth or fresh graduates for alternative careers like outsourcing, and freelancing through specialised training programmes;
6. The recruitment, examination and verification of all public and private jobs that are closed should be initiated immediately under special arrangements;
7. The recruitment process for all posts should be corruption-free and ensure equal competition based on merit;
8. Government should take special initiative to bring back the students to the classroom, who dropped out due to Covid-19;
9. Personal privacy and freedom of expression should be ensured for all citizens, including the youth. For this, the necessary radical reform of the law and policy framework should be done;