Ending unemployment a big challenge for the government

Published : 29 Sep 2019 07:12 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 08:45 AM

Despite unimaginable gr­o­wth of the coun­try in the last few years, the job sector has hardly expan­ded, lea­ving many to wonder about the significance of such growth. Indeed, growth itself is meaningless if it’s not inclusive and benefits only a few. 

Those who are unemployed, despite qualifications are already losing their faith in development as it has failed them so far. Hopefully, with the government’s ongoing efforts to expand the job market and create employment opportunities, in the future no one will be left behind. 

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has expressed hope that there would employment for all capable persons of the country by 2030. Keeping up with the trend of fast development, Bangladesh is expected to be among the first 20 economically developed countries by 2041. 

Currently the current poverty rate in the country is 21 percent, however Finance Minister Kamal said the government aims to alleviate this rate to between 0 and 3 percent by 2030.

According to reports by the World Bank and IMF, Bangladesh is in the top in gaining GDP growth over the last 10 years and the country is expected to reach the 26th position in the global economy by 2027.

In order to sustain our current 

development and boost economic

 growth, all relevant agencies must 

invest time and energy to the 

creation of jobs in the country

A big factor contributing to the rate of unemployment is the lack of training opportunities for workers. There are very few opportunities of vocational education for young people. In recent times, the government has taken up various projects to provide vocational education to young people. However, the scale of these programmes must be larger as many are still suffering from lack of employable skills.

The quality of general education is also lacking in the country. The educational institutes are inefficient in preparing the students for future employment. Often the curriculum is too academic to be applied in real world scenarios and useless when it comes to the job market. 

Many in the country are also unable to access education as they are living well below the poverty line. They cannot even afford to attend the free schooling programmes as they have to earn their daily bread for themselves and their families. 

Earlier this year, the government finalized an employment-oriented budget for the next fiscal year (FY2019-20) in order to ensure inclusive economic growth. The rate of unemployment among youths tertiary education has been steady for the last couple of years. The government is therefore going to prioritize creating employment opportunities in the upcoming budget. 

Majority of the employment opportunities in the country are in the urban centers, particularly in Dhaka. As a result, there is increased rate of migration from rural areas. Dhaka city is getting more and more congested due to this influx of people from villages. In order to combat this problem and decentralize the country, village-centric development projects are going to get top priority in the upcoming budget.

The ongoing projects such as Padma Bridge, creation of new economic zones and the 10 mega projects are going to create sustainable employment opportunities for a large number of people. Investment will take centre stage, as programmes to encourage entrepreneurs to investment with a business-friendly budget are being implemented. 

The government also hopes for further employment opportunities being created by the Rooppur nuclear power plant as well as the Matarbari deep seaport. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ‘Vision – 2021’to make the country a middle-income one by 2021 is one of the main targets of the budget set for FY2019-20. In addition, this year’s budget also targets to make the country a developed one by 2041.

However, in order to achieve this goal the government must aim for sustainable development of every region in the country, including rural and remote areas. Allocation for the development of rural infrastructure will be increased to this end. The village will be developed in a planned manner. All types of civic amenities, including internet, electricity, gas, will be made accessible to the rural community.

A major problem for our country is the rate of unemployment among those with higher education degrees. Many young people with higher education degrees are choosing to emigrate abroad. Therefore, Bangladesh is losing out in terms of skilled labor force, simply due to the lack of suitable employment opportunities for white collar workers. 

The rate that the country holds is absolutely unacceptable and the government must ensure the creation of white collar jobs in the coming years in order to sustain our current economic growth. 

Furthermore, there is a lack of scope for interested investors in the business sectors. Rampant corruption in the business regulation government agencies and barriers to entry in several key industries is responsible for this state. In order to abate this issue, the government must subsidize the relevant industries and provide ample opportunities for investors. This way, the amount of jobs created in the market would undoubtedly double or even triple. 

Even fifteen years ago, we could not have imagined that our country would have achieved so many development milestones. Bangla­desh has become a shining example to the rest of the world for sustainable and inclusive development. 

In order to sustain our current development and to boost economic growth, all relevant agencies must invest time and energy to the creation of jobs in the country. Unemployment is a social plague that leads to various other problems, such as increased rate of crime, involvement in illegal activities, among others. In order to keep society functioning smoothly and peacefully, employment opportunities are a must and the government must see to it that enough emphasis is being put in this regard. 

Synthia Kainath Nur is working with Bangladesh Post

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