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BRAC roundtable on skill development

Lack of skills is the biggest challenge for employment in Bangladesh, experts said at a roundtable in Dhaka. Although Bangladesh has 65 million of workforce, they often do not find good jobs as they are not skilled. For the same reason Bangladesh cannot utilise the job opportunities available abroad as other developing countries like India and Malaysia can, they said.

The roundtable on ‘Skills for employment in Bangladesh: Present and future’ was organised on Tuesday, June 3, at the BRAC Centre Auditorium. The keynote presentation was by Francis De Silva, senior specialist, ILO Dhaka. Other guest speakers include Jibon Kumar Chowdhury, chief executive officer, Bangladesh National Skills Development Council (NSDC), Nijam Uddin, additional director, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) and Dr Mahabub Hossain, adviser to the executive director, BRAC.

Asif Saleh, senior director, Strategy, Communications and Capacity, BRAC, in his welcome speech said the roundtable brought representatives from the government and international bodies, skill and vocational training institutes and industrial sectors for a focused discussion on the issue.

The society in the Indian Subcontinent has yet to give deserved respect to work skill as they give to academic education, said Bikram Dasgupta, executive director of Globsyn, an all-India training institute. ‘Skills must have a high aspiration place in the society,’ he added.

The speakers in their discussion focused on different obstacles for skill development, which include lack of national policy for skill development, constraint in budget and other resources, giving more stress on academic education and less on skill-oriented technical education, want of skill among export-oriented garments workers and lack of training institutes and training equipment and materials.

Besides the government, non-government and private training institutions are playing important role in producing skilled workforce in the country, they said.

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