The Centre for Policy Dialogue on Tuesday said that the government would miss its target of creating 3 crore jobs in the country by 2030 if the current pace and traditional approach of job creation continued.
Referring to the International Labour Organisation’s projection on employment generation in 2024 and 2030, the independent think-tank said that the government would be able to generate only 1.49 crore jobs during the period at 2.4 per cent growth rate of employment generation.
Ruling Awami League in its 2018 electoral pledge announced that it would create 3 crore jobs by 2030.
‘The government will be able to create only half of its pledged jobs by the timeframe if it continues to follow the business as usual approach or traditional methods of jobs creation,’ CPD distinguished fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya said at a dialogue on role of the public service delivery in ensuring employment for the marginalised youth community, held in Dhaka.
He said that the current education and technical trainings could not meet the market demand and employers did not recognise the skills the youth gained through the system.
The CPD and the Asia Foundation organised the dialogue to disseminate the findings of their joint study on the issue.
At the dialogue, policymakers, experts and youths recommended that the government should prioritise vocational education and trainings for enhancing market-oriented skills to ensure employment for youths as the existing education system was worsening the unemployment crisis.
CPD chairman Rehman Sobhan said that employment for the youth should be a mandatory objective of the government and there should be a national employment guarantee scheme as an alternative employment generation process for the community.
He also said that performance of the economy should be evaluated based on the level of employment generation, not based on economic growth rate.
Employers, both public and private, should ensure that political identity, personal affiliation and bribe should not be the criteria for the selection for a job.
Chairman of parliamentary standing committee on labour and employment Mujibul Haque said the government should gradually phase out the level of higher education and should include vocational and technical subjects in the education system as the traditional education generated only graduates without practical experiences.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party lawmaker Rumeen Farhana said that around 50 per cent of the graduate youth remained unemployed in the country as the government could not create enough jobs for them.
Jobless growth has become a problem for the country, she said.
Inadequate allocations for education and skills development sectors and lack of quality of education also deepen the problem, she said.
Awami League lawmaker Nahim Razzaq said that education, trainings and skills development programme should be focused on demand of employers.
BD Jobs chief executive director Fahim Mashroor said that educated youth were falling in an unemployment trap due to lack of skills.
A youth remains unemployed even after taking higher degree with a cost of several lakhs taka but he or she can easily get a job just taking a technical training with a cost of few thousands taka, he said.
According to the study, majority of the marginalised youths said that employment opportunity for them in their districts was scanty.
They said that their peers living in the capital city were far better off in terms of getting quality education, training and job opportunities and they were being selected more for those jobs.
CPD research director Khondaker Golam Moazzem presented the findings of the study conducted on 333 youths from four marginalised groups — adivasi (ethnic) youth living in Thakurgaon, urban slum youth living in Dhaka, Madrasah students living in Dhaka and youth living in Sylhet.
CPD executive director Fahmida Khatun, UCEP Bangladesh executive director Tahsinah Ahmed, Junior Chamber International Bangladesh president Sarah Kamal, Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation president Babul Akter, and representatives from the marginalised groups, among others, spoke at the programme.