CPD and The Asia Foundation, with the help of the Citizen's Platform for SDGs- Bangladesh, organized the event
With the current rate of employment generation, where jobs are highly scarce for marginalized youths, it will be a difficult task for the government to create a whopping 30 million new jobs by 2030, noted a CPD research on on Tuesday.
The research findings also revealed that youths, particularly those who do not enjoy the same privileges as the rest of society, are deprived of access to tertiary education and ICT training in part due to financial constraints.
On the other hand, lack of access to employment opportunities and training facilities and the apparent absence of accountability and transparency in public service delivery affect the youth population in securing jobs.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a local think-tank , presented its findings at a dialogue, "Role of Public Service Delivery in Ensuring Employment for the Marginalized Youth Community."
CPD and The Asia Foundation, with the help of the Citizen's Platform for SDGs- Bangladesh, organized the event.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, CPD's distinguished fellow, moderated the dialogue, while CDP Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun, among others, spoke on the issue.
"Youth employment is a major development agenda of the government. During the national election of 2018, the ruling party announced its electoral pledge to create 30 million jobs by 2030," said CPD Research Director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem.
He presented the keynote paper on Empowering the Marginalized Youths for the Labour Market through Effective Public Service Delivery.
In line with the International Labor Organization’s projection of 2.4% annual growth of employment, an additional 10.49 million jobs will be created by 2030. It will be difficult to attain the targeted 30 million jobs by 2030 with the current pace of employment growth, said Moazzem.
At present, 12.2% youths are unemployed, and of them 7.4 million do not have education or training and are not engaged in any kind of employment, said the senior researcher.
Therefore, it was clear that it would not be possible to create the expected employment opportunities for youths, he reiterated.
Moreover, they are also deprived of quality training and education due to lack of adequate training centers and high quality teaching staff. Marginalized youths are not getting equal opportunities compared to urban youths owing to lack of access to employment information, the research findings show..
"There is a mismatch between the availability of proper training and market needs, not only in the private sector but also in the government sector."
"And there is a growing need to calibrate these two in a more effective way rather than a mere theoretical undertaking," said CPD Chairman Dr Rehman Sobhan.
This has sparked growing concern about the mismatch between universities and the needs of the job market.
The government can re-organize and create demands and thereby train the people to perform skill-specific jobs. In fact, we can create a universal employment guarantee scheme for the youths, said Dr Sobhan.
"If you do that, you will be building a more secure and stable society and a large number of youths will not be roaming around seeking alternatives to employment, such as risky migration, drug addiction and crimes," said the noted economist.
He also stressed empowering the marginalized youths not just with training, but also by building their capacity to participate in a larger market system and public jobs.
Training should not be only for salaried jobs; there should be more focus on technical skills and credit facility for alternative livelihoods, said Rehman Sobhan.
The government should create equal access to all in the public sector regardless of political affiliation, he said.
"Since there is an apparent mismatch between industry demand and human resource supply, private sector people should articulate precisely what should be the educational curricular," said Nahim Razzaq, member of parliament, who was present as special quest.
Commenting on the country's education policy, the lawmaker said there should be continuous research and review of educational tools, otherwise it would not be sustainable.
Addressing the event, another parliament member, Mujibul Haque Chunnu, who was also present as a special guest, called for revising the higher education and urged people concerned to put emphasis on vocational education and needs-based training.
Suggestions for youth employment
In creating job opportunities for marginalized youths, they could be trained in different types of traditional & non-traditional sports and cultural activities.
At the same time, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country should also give priority to marginalized youths in different types of jobs. Some BSCIC estates may be set up in different regions where marginalized youths’ concentration is very high, said Moazzem.
He also stressed GO-NGO collaboration for better supplementing the lack of effective public service delivery.
On top of that, CPD stated that the budgetary allocation for education and training for these youths needs to be increased, particularly for establishment of new schools, providing educational equipment, setting up ICT labs, improvement of training for skill development of teachers, improvement of school management and further skill development of these youths, it added.
Targeted measures for the marginalized youths focusing on effective, transparent and accountable public service delivery is needed, while the government should review its action plans as part of implementing SDGs with specific targets, it adds.
Public services are not well-equipped to address major livelihood challenges and those are sometimes regressive in nature, said the CPD.
A rights-based approach is needed instead of considering a markets-based approach.
In this context, the draft of the ‘anti-discrimination law’ should be ratified by the government.