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Farming, informal occupation absorb 87% workforce

  • Published at 04:36 pm April 11th, 2018
Farming, informal occupation absorb 87% workforce
Nearly 87% of the country's total workforce is involved in farming, small businesses and other forms of informal occupations. This was revealed at a ceremony marking the launch of Brac Institute of Skills Development (Brac-ISD) in the city's Uttara on Tuesday. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid was the chief guest at the event. He said: “Education is our utmost priority. But technical skill-related education also needs considerable attention. “However, a big challenge in this field is changing social perceptions surrounding it. Most of our people strongly hold the belief that acquiring a higher education degree is the gold standard to landing decent employment. “Some of the other barriers to proliferation of skill-based education include women's lack of interest to get involved and shortage of trained instructors," the minister added. He stressed on the fact that institutional training should focus more on modern methods instead of outdated practices. Speakers said a large segment of the workforce is not being properly utilized in the skilled sectors. Many of these people are unable to enter the formal employment sector for lack of required professional skills and knowledge, which is holding back the country in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Brac's Senior Director for Communications, Strategy and Empowerment Asif Saleh gave a presentation on the skills context in Bangladesh. It was mentioned in the presentation that over 2 million people are entering the workforce every year in Bangladesh. The number of people readily seeking employment is estimated to rise up to 76 million by 2025. With almost 60% of the current population entering the workforce being 30 years and younger, close to 40 percent of these young people are being left unskilled and unemployed. Brac-ISD provides market-driven skills training covering a wide range of sectors - from information technology to hospitality and tourism. Candidates receive certification that is nationally accredited by the Bangladesh Technical Education Board as well as internationally by City & Guilds. Outside of Dhaka, Brac-ISD operates training centres in Narayanganj, Pabna, Manikganj, Rangpur, Magura, Cumilla, Cox's Bazar and Chattogram. Alfaz Hossain, project director at the Bureau of Non-Formal Education; ABM Korshed Alam, chief executive officer of National Skill Development Council Secretariat; Beatrice Kaldun, head of Unesco Dhaka Office; Dr Muhammad Musa, executive director of Brac were present among others.