Digitisation, SDG-centric changes redesign economic shape

Speakers say at DCCI webinar

Rapid changes in technological progresses, occurred due to the 4IR, digitization and SDG centric economic transformation are reshaping the economic landscape of Bangladesh including industries and jobs, experts opined at a webinar on Saturday.

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) organised the webinar titled “Industry-Academia Linkage: The New Frontier” . 

Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni, MP joined as the chief guest while Prof. Dr. Kazi Shahidullah, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC) joined the webinar as special guest.

While addressing, Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni stressed changing mindset of people for better industry and academia linkage. For a sustainable and commercially viable research ecosystem, she urged the private sector to invest in the education sector. 

"Universities should not only focus on education and degree but they have to provide necessary trainings. Still we have gap between industry and academia and to reduce the gap we should do a mapping to identify skill requirements. Despite Covid 19 has manifold socio economic impacts, however it has created a lot of opportunities and a tripartite collaboration among industry-academia and research can reap these benefits in future", she added. Rizwan Rahman, President of DCCI moderated the webinar. 

Graduates are struggling in the job marketas our conventional educationsystem lacks skill-orientation in line with the industry demand, said Rizwan Rahman.  

Bangladesh is a country of 63.5 million labour force and is growing at 2.2% which means around 2 million newentrants jointhe labour force every year, but 38.6%unemployment of the graduates indicates the skill mismatch. University-industry collaboration has emerged as a new means to elevate the country competitiveness in terms of developing skilled workforce and innovation ecosystem, said the DCCI President.

Most employers believe critical thinking and problem-solving skills will grow in prominence and 50% of all employees need re-skilling by 2025. 

Prof. Dr. Kazi Shahidullah, Chairman, University Grants Commission urged the private sector to invest their CSR fundin research and education sector. 

He also called upon the Universities to frame out timely and internationally standard curriculum. If we can create skilled manpower we will not require any mid-level managers recruited from abroad, he added. 

Dr. Md. Sabur Khan, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Daffodil International University presented the keynote paper. He said Universities should not only focus to bring out graduates every year, rather they have to think that how much the graduates learn soft and hard skills during their studentship. 

Discussant Syed Nasim Manzur, Managing Director, Apex Footwear Ltd. said that the private sector will be encouraged to invest in research and education sector if they are given special tax benefits or exemptions.

He also urged to upgrade the intellectual property rights and patent acts tosafeguard commercially viable research. 

Dr. Syed Ferhat Anwar, Director and Professor of IBA, University of Dhaka said that for better industry academia collaboration, government’s policy assistance is necessary. 

He proposed the government to create an endowment fund for sector based research.

Prof. Dr. Mohammad Anisuzzaman Talukder, Professor of BUET suggested the government to consider research and innovation activities as a mega project. Investment in the education sector will not give economic return overnight but it has a long term positive effect, he added.

Tahmina Binthe Mostafa, Director, Meghna Group said that industries want to utilize the local talents if they are given enough skills and trainings.

DCCI Senior Vice President N K A Mobin, FCS, FCA gave vote of thanks while Vice President Monowar Hossain and members of the board of director took part in the webinar.