Experts urge everyone to grab the opportunities that still exist in the ongoing pandemic
As Bangladesh is facing the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, developing technical skills is mandatory for the youth, according to the experts.
They made the remarks during a webinar to mark the World Youth Skills Day, titled "Invest in Skills to Build Resilient Youth", organized by Brac's Skills Development Program (SDP) on Wednesday.
Generating awareness among all stakeholders, especially strategic professionals, on the importance of skills training and subsequent employment opportunities was the main focus of the webinar.
As physical classes in educational institutions have remained suspended for a long time, the government and stakeholders should look forward to multiple pathways to ensure that children and youths get different opportunities to continue their learning, said the experts.
Veera Mendonca, deputy representative of Unicef Bangladesh Country office, said: "The government should not only focus on foundation skills but also on specialized skills so that they have multiple opportunities.
Also Read - Covid-19 further impacts low-income students
“Beyond changing skills and schools, beyond looking at reform, beyond looking at innovative partnership, we do need to look at the scale and to the most vulnerable. And this is why partnerships are critical.”
Shahriar Islam, senior program manager of Australian High Commission, said: “Even amid the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a lot of opportunities, but we need to work together for an efficient and sustainable solution.”.
Syeda Afzalun Nessa, head of corporate sustainability at HSBC, called upon the youths to be adaptive to the situation for the greater benefit.
She said: “Have problem-solving mechanisms. Be adaptive with this kind of situation, and try to be adaptive to change.”
This has been a very difficult and challenging time because of Covid-19 with no one knowing how long it is going to continue and how deep it is going to affect our lives, said Aminul Islam Khan, secretary to the Technical and Madrasa Education Division.
“The government is trying hard to popularize technical education to create resilient youths. To popularize technical education, we need to demonstrate the value of technical education, and as a part of this, we have focused on technical training and learning English,” he added.
The SDP is working on the ongoing coronavirus epidemic challenges of youth employment and their post-covid employment opportunities.
Since 2012, the SDP has been training the informal sector people and has ensured their subsequent employment in 46 districts.
Till now, they have reached 349,642 people with different skills intervention and decent work knowledge. Among them, 97,981 are women, 280 transgender people, and 6,280 persons with disabilities.
A study by the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) says that 61.57% of the people had lost their jobs as an impact of Covid-19 lockdown and Bangladesh now has 17 million “new poor”.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), about 8.7% of the youths lost jobs and more than 22.4% of young people are neither in employment, education, or training (NEET) in 2020 worldwide.