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The right skills for the future

  • Published at 11:46 pm August 6th, 2019

Improving the quality of our education, and access to it, will be key 

Improving the skills and productivity of our workforce has been a major policy issue for Bangladesh as we strive to compete in the highly globalized world of the 21st century, and the country needs to make the best use of its current demographic dividend, the benefits of which it will enjoy until about 2030.

To that end, policies such as the National Youth Policy (NYP) 2017 are a step in the right direction. Having said that, it has been two years since its formulation. 

Needless to say, the administration must do a better job, in not only formulating effective policies to develop skills, but also implementing them -- points which were discussed at the ActionAid-Dhaka Tribune roundtable discussion titled “Translating National Youth Policy into Action Plan: Counting Young People’s Perspectives.”

While recent studies conclude that, over the next decade or so, there will be major job cuts in various sectors of the country as mass automation starts to play a major role, there will also be new job opportunities for the country’s workforce -- and the onus is on the administration to realize this inevitability and prepare accordingly.

On that front, there is little doubt that improving the quality of our education, and access to it, will be key to achieving this while also emphasizing development of skilled, market-oriented manpower.

Every year, some two million people enter the job market eager to make a difference, but sadly, not all of them find what they are looking for, as a lack of necessary skills remains the primary challenge that fresh graduates face when entering the country’s highly competitive job market.

Therefore, Bangladesh must capitalize on its demographic dividend by implementing the right policies so that it can sustain its current impressive economic growth into the future.