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The young and the restless

  • Published at 12:07 am December 11th, 2019

Four easy steps to unleashing the power of the youth

The demographic rebellion began in the late 18th century in Europe, which then ricocheted to the rest of the world during the 19th and 20th centuries -- and the process continues to this day.

Generally, the demographic transition is a natural process that results from changes in the characteristics of the population and the age-related structural transition, the transition of the age pyramid plays a key role in the economic performance of any nation, as the demographic dividend allows for a greater proportion of people of working age, which increases per capita income as well as savings and investments.

Bangladesh has observed a demographic transition that has had various positive effects on the nation’s overall socio-economic development. As a result, the country now has a comparative advantage over its neighbours in terms of an active youth base, but this demographic premium will not last long and will not be repeated in the near future. 

In general, high rates of youth unemployment is a common phenomenon, but this problem poses different complications for families and communities. For example, unemployment among younger cohorts can create serious health problems. Youth unemployment also affects the well-being of families and reduces the well-being of a nation if it prevails over a long period.

In order to overcome this situation, Bangladesh must play a dynamic comparative role in order to continue its development.

Government, policy-makers, and stakeholders should focus on identifying the determinants that will improve youth employment and transform young adults into productive human capital by providing the following necessary initiatives:

First, the government should take steps to liberate the primary and secondary education system across the country.

Second, policy-makers linked to the Ministry of Education need to introduce a practical and employment-oriented program in our education sector to reduce the skills mismatch among workers. Some candidates suffer from a lack of basic knowledge in mathematics, science, and technology. As a result, unemployment of educated youth is a serious concern for social stability.

Third, the government and concerned stakeholders should increase the availability of technology, so that the young generation can easily adopt new technological innovations. Nowadays, technological innovation facilitates the execution of difficult tasks as well as human work. In addition, technology helps reduce labour costs with capital accumulation and creates more profits. In general, it expands human capabilities.

Fourth, stakeholders need to create youth development funds at the national and local levels to support the promotion of youth entrepreneurship in all sectors. Therefore, the coming generations will be empowered by their own ideas and knowledge rather than having to seek a job in the market.

By adopting these measures, Bangladesh will be able to achieve long-term sustainable socio-economic prosperity as well as a comparative advantage, which will inform and educate society by providing pathways to curbing further youth unemployment.

Nusrat Jafrin is Assistant Professor, Department of Population Sciences, University of Dhaka. Muhammad Mehedi Masud is Assistant Professor, Department of Development Studies, University of Malaya, Malaysia.