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Bangladesh - 2 weeks ago

Skilled manpower crisis hits industries

No int’l standard training center

Golam Mostafa Jibon: Production of industrial sector is being hampered drastically due to lack of skilled and efficient manpower causing a bad impact on the export trading.
According to the sources, the industrial sector needs about 23 lakh skilled workers every year. But,such number of skilled workers is not being produced in the country.
At least 36 percent of employers suffer from a shortage of skilled and efficient workers. At present, some 21-lakh people are joining the labor market in the country every year. Only a small part of those is efficient. However, there is a demand of 18 lakh skilled manpower in the domestic industry and 5 lakh in the foreign labor market.
The country’s garment sector alone wouldbe neededover 3 lakh skilled workers in the future after completely return of normalcy from the corona pandemic. But, no international standard institutional training center has been set up yet in the country.
Like Bangladesh, the garment sector in different countries of the world is still facing crisis of skilled workers. As workers leave Bangladesh for different countries, a labor crisis may arise in the garment industry.
According to government data, Bangladeshi workers go to work in 172 countries around the world. Once, many countries went for legal employment, but in the last few years that market has shrunk. The coronavirus has put more pressure on the world labor market. It is known that every year eight to 10 lakh workers go abroad from Bangladesh through the government process. Most of them go as unskilled workers. However, more than 20 lakh workers go abroad with other visas.
Atiqur Rahman, director of the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training, said, Saudi Arabia is so far the largest labor market in Bangladesh. Then there are Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. A few workers are also going to Jordan, Singapore and Romania.
He said Bangladeshi workers are going to 172 countries more or less legally. But due to the crisis of skilled workers, the demand for Bangladeshi workers abroad is declining.
Even a few days ago, Kuwait, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and Maldives were big labor markets for Bangladesh.
Many Bangladeshis still work legally and illegally in these countries. But the workers are not able to go to these countries legally now.
About 2 lakh workers have returned to Bangladesh after the onset of coronavirus infection.
According to the report, 82 percent of the country’s 25 to 54-year-olds are engaged in various activities. However, only 6.3 percent of them have skills in a particular subject. About 53 percent are fairly skilled and 40.7 percent are completely incompetent.
President of Bangladesh Chamber of Industries Anwar-ul Alam Chowdhury Parvez said, “The country’s economy is gradually shifting from agriculture to industrial. But skilled workers are not being produced as per the demand. But the government wants to create 3 crore skilled manpower by 2030. It also wants to earn$ 150 billion remittances by 2025. For this, about 8 million skilled workers are now needed. But at present, there are only 26 lakh skilled workers.”
He said,about 70 percent of the 169 million people in Bangladesh are capable to work. Although, there is the rate of unemployment is 12.3 percent. By 2030, the population aged between 18 and 35 will stand at 6 crore. The large numbers of people need to make skilled through training. In this case, the businessmen should also come forward to cooperate with the government in formulating various policies to achieve growth.
Chief Secretary to the Prime Minister Ahmed Kaikaus said, “The country’s economic prosperity would be facilitated by tackling global challenges through the creation of skilled manpower. At this unusual time in Corona, diversity has also been created in the field of profession. People have become largely digital platform-dependent during this corona-era. The amount of income has increased through free-lancing. Planning must take into account social and professional changes. In addition to increasing the effectiveness of conventional training courses in skill development, standard and training curricula need to be formulated keeping in mind the modern and future technologies.”
He said that, many people are worried about the fourth industrial revolution. But machines can never occupy human space. For this you have to learn about that, you have to be efficient.
Professor Md. Habibur Rahman said, “At present about 22 lakh youths are being added to the labor market of the country every year. So now is the real time to take advantage of the demographic dividend. By converting the working manpower into skilled manpower, productivity should increase, similarly, it will be possible to earn a lot of foreign exchange by sending skilled manpower abroad.
According to NSDA Executive Chairman Dulal Krishna Saha, “The picture of skill development in the country is not very promising. This is because there is no connection between the industrial sector and educational institutions. It is on paper. Industry experts are not yet allowed to teach at universities.”
He said, 85.1 percent of the workforce is in the informal sector. Of them, 39.9 percent have no formal education. On the other hand, 29.8 percent of the working population is not involved in any kind of education, labor or institution. The big challenge is to make this hugely uneducated working people skilled. Besides, there is a crisis of skilled trainers.

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