Much remains to be done to provide the rights skills training to our female youth population
It is a matter of regret, though hardly surprising, that young women in Bangladesh lag behind young men when it comes to education, training, and jobs. A study conducted by the ILO puts 47% of young women -- young defined as between 15 to 24 -- in the NEET (neither employed, nor in education, nor in training) category, and this is a matter for concern.
It must, of course, be understood that in Bangladesh, work done by women is always underrepresented and undervalued by such studies, due to the large amount of household labour done by women which does not show up in employment statistics.
But whatever the true numbers are, it cannot be denied that much remains to be done to provide the rights skills training to our female youth population so that they have a fair shot at employment opportunities.
Methods of production and workplace cultures are evolving, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. That means more and more industries are relying heavily on computerization, artificial intelligence, robotics, and 3D printing.
For a long time, Bangladesh’s cheap labour has been one of our great strengths, but in order to stay competitive, that will not be enough. We need a young, skilled workforce equipped with the knowledge and skills for the future.
This requires not just widespread training, but a comprehensive change in mindset which embraces the future. With the recent initiatives to set up hi-tech parks, we are on the right track. Now it is a matter of spreading this know-how to all those who can utilize it and give back to the economy.