It is a tall task for any growing economy to adequately build the necessary capacity for creating an environment of increased employment
Bangladesh rightfully deserves the plaudits it receives for the transformation of its economy -- we have made remarkable progress across a myriad of sectors, and the authorities concerned must be commended for the work that has been done.
Nevertheless, despite our many successes across many avenues of our economy, we continue to lag behind in a crucial aspect of any functional economy -- job creation.
This is why it is concerning to see the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) recently offer their scepticism regarding adequate creation of jobs in a recent research finding, given the current rate of employment generation, particularly in the marginalized sections of the population.
While it is no doubt a tall task for any growing economy -- let alone one with such high population density -- to adequately build the necessary capacity for creating an environment of increased employment and job growth, it is not out of reach.
Among the many shortcomings pointed out by CPD, a major point of contention was the disconnect that exists between our university curriculum and the actual skills that are required in the job market. This mismatch must be addressed, and it is necessary for the education sector to work with the private sector in determining the necessary skills.
Additionally, a renewed focus on technical and vocational education is also the need of the hour; this will be particularly vital in the more marginalized areas of the country.
To that end, it is extremely encouraging to see that initiatives are being taken to address this, with the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) recently approving a substantial project of over Tk20,000 crore to set up some 329 technical school and colleges at the upazila level.
This initiative should go a long way toward tackling some major issues of skills development and job creation, and we hope that CPD’s other suggestions are taken seriously by the authorities concerned.