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Right skill sets hold key to unleash youth potential in Bangladesh

  • Published at 10:29 pm October 14th, 2019
DT_Action aid roundtable meeting
Roundtable meeting between Dhaka Tribune and Action Aid on Monday, October 14, 2019 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Speakers at ActionAid-Dhaka Tribune Roundtable call for imparting youth with proper skill trainings

Nearly half of Bangladesh’s total unemployed youth are university graduates while almost a third (15-29 years of age) are not engaged in education, employment or training (NEET). 

However, empowering them with proper skill training can unleash the youth potential of Bangladesh, speakers said at a roundtable discussion in the city on Monday.   

Noting that every year over two million youth enter into the labour market, the speakers called for removing the mismatch between the education system that the youth go through and the actual skill sets that the market demands of them.   

They came up with this at the round table discussion titled “Skill Development for Young People: Modalities of Training and Standards of Certification”, jointly organized by Dhaka Tribune and ActionAid Bangladesh held on Monday at Dhaka Tribune Conference Hall.

With Dhaka Tribune executive editor Reaz Ahmad in the chair, National Skills Development Authority (NSDA) executive chairman (secretary in-charge) Md Faruque Hossain attended the program as chief guest. 

Faruque Hossain said, to make a skillful young generation, holistic dedication and concerted efforts are mandatory from all sectors. 

“All the organizations and institutions which facilitate skill development training programs to the young generation have to brought under a single umbrella of NSDA”, he said. 

“The quality of the training should be ensured on global and national standards so that young generation can meet the demand of local as well as international labour market,'' he added.

Reaz Ahmad said, social dignity and recognition is a must in technical and vocational education and training to make a skilled young generation. 

“Because of inefficient and unskilled labour forces in our country, foreign nationals who are working in the mid-level managerial positions earn billion dollars every year,'' he said. 

“With appropriate skill development of our younger generation, we can replace them (foreign workers) with our own people,'' he added.

Munsur Hasan Khandaker, principal of SOS Vocational Training Centre Dhaka said, though many training centers are providing short and long term skill development courses and sessions to our young generation, most of the centers do not meet proper standards. 

“There is a lack of specialized trainers and modern equipment in this sector which create barriers to maintain the quality of the training,'' he added.

Asad-Uz-Zaman, policy specialist (Skills for Employment) of a2i said, training centers should be prepared as per the demand of local and global markets. 

“There should be matchmaking platform between industries and trainees so that a trainee can get the chance of apprenticeship in the industry to enrich his/her skill and knowledge in the specific sector,'' he added. 

Shamima Nowshin , senior program officer of Oxfam International Bangladesh said, the training which is provided by different organizations should be assessed according to the field level demands. 

“After providing training the authorities should give guidelines to the trainees so that they can use the skills and knowledge gained in their careers,'' she added. 

Ismat Jerin Khan, director of SME Foundation, Dr Shah Alam Majumder, specialist (Course Accreditation) of Bangladesh Technical Education Board also spoke, in the event moderated by ActionAid Manager Nazmul Ahsan.