Published:  04:06 AM, 11 May 2021

Bangladesh needs new job markets

Bangladesh needs new job markets
By the end of 2021, an estimated 33 million people will loss their jobs owing to the fallout of Covid-19, while five emerging sectors will generate 40 lakh new jobs.Access to Information (a2i) - the flagship programme of the Digital Bangladesh agenda - revealed this while sharing the findings of their research titled "Post Covid-19 Jobs and Skills in Bangladesh."

Shrinking overseas employments for Bangladeshi workers mainly due to closure of traditional job markets has thrown the country's migration sector into a serious crisis. Against the backdrop, the government desperately tries to explore new destinations in Asia and Africa.

The government devised comprehensive strategies to retain rest of the traditional job markets as fast as possible by discovering new sectors for sending workers abroad. According to the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training, over 10 lakh workers from Bangladesh migrated abroad in 2017 but the overseas employment came down to 7.34 lakh in 2018. From January to September in 2019, about 4.7 lakh Bangladeshis got overseas jobs, BMET data show. Labour migration experts and recruiting agencies said that this trend would affect the inflow of remittance, create pressure on local job market and the economy. The job market in the Middle East, the largest destinations for Bangladeshis, is also shrinking because of their priorities on creating jobs for their own people in troubled economy. Global economic recession caused the decline,To overcome the situation, the Bangladesh government should focus on grooming skilled workers, and must continue exploring the new destinations.

Malaysia, Libya, the Maldives and the United Arab Emirates stopped recruiting workers from Bangladesh for several years while Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan have significantly reduced the recruitment of workers from Bangladesh.The UAE, the second largest job market for Bangladesh after Saudi Arabia, had imposed restriction for Bangladeshi workers in late 2012.

Officials and businesses said involvement of some Bangladeshis in crimes, and corruption in recruitment led to the restrictions. Saudi Arabia, which reopened its labour market for Bangladesh in 2015 after seven years of closure, recruited 12.44 lakh Bangladeshis between 2015 and August this year. However, the country is now strongly enforcing Saudization policy, which means it is preferring recruitment of locals, not the expatriate workers.

In order to combat the problem of large geographical and socio-economic conditions of the economy, the Government along with its partner agencies should set-up more standardized skill-based institutions or skill development centres across the country, particularly in laggard/backward states with a view to provide equal access to all segments and sections of the society, so that the whole society gets the benefits of the skill initiatives and strategies. Vocational training is practical/manual in nature in contrast to education which is purely theoretical in nature. Thus, linkages of both serve simultaneously the hand and the mind, the practical and the abstract aspects.

The planners should focus on women specific policies for their effective participation in the employment market to unlock the full potential of women workforce in Bangladesh. As it would help India to meet its skilling target and reap benefits of having the largest workforce by 2025.A strong policy measures and operational linkages are needed to bring together the public and private sector to improve the quality and relevance of training.

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