Job creation needs impetus in pandemic-rendered situation: speakers

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DHAKA, Nov 21, 2020 (BSS) – The new employment generation, following changed global economic and employment scenario due to Covid-19 pandemic, now requires some impetus including future compatibility with robotics, technology adaptation and digital data literacy, said speakers at a webinar today.

They also said it needs innovative and modern skills, re-skilling and up-skilling and adequate soft skills to give a momentum to new jobs generation, in a webinar titled “New jobs and skill for future business” arranged by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), said a DCCI press release.

Senior Secretary of Financial Institutions Division Md. Ashadul Islam joined the webinar as chief guest while Dulal Krishna Saha, (Secretary), executive chairman of the National Skills Development Authority, Sudipto Mukerjee, resident representative of UNDP Bangladesh, Zaki Uz Zaman, country representative, UNIDO and Tuomo Poutiainen, country director of ILO, joined as special guests with DCCI Senior Vice President NKA Mobin in the chair.

Speaking at the webinar, Ashadul said the government has been trying to keep the economic activities normal in the Covid-19 situation. “Still we’re going through the pandemic condition. Growth without employment generation will not be sustainable,”

He said the government is giving priority to right skills with enabling environment, adding that there is a need to rethink the policy dimension due to Covid-19 situation. “Inevitable technology adaptation is now the demand of the day,” he said.

The Financial Institutions Division senior secretary said that inward remittance and right skill export will boost the remittance.

“We need to create a business friendly environment in the country. Automation is very important and Bangladesh Bank is working to facilitate it. We have to be prepared for future technology shift to accommodate job creation.” he added.

Dulal Krishna Saha, executive chairman of National Skills Development Authority said, “We need hard, soft and human skills. NGOs and private sector should come forward to skill development programmes.”

Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh Sudipto Mukerjee stressed the need for an inclusive and equal growth of Bangladesh. He also underscored the need for vocational and technical trainings as well as quality of education.

Zaki Uz Zaman, country representative, UNIDO said Bangladeshi youths are very creative and they should explore the potential of global block-chain arena.

Tuomo Poutiainen, country director, ILO in Bangladesh said to grab future job market, bold action is needed to be taken to generate skilled work force. He also suggested that the private sector needs to work horizontally with the government and other stakeholders.

Yasir Azman, chief executive officer (CEO) of Grameenphone Ltd. said the country’s youths have potentials and they need to ignite and encourage themselves to face the challenges of future robotics.

In his welcome address, DCCI President Shams Mahmud said with the 62.7 percent working aged population, Bangladesh has demographic dividend to leverage accelerated economic growth.

He said the nature and demand of skills in global job market are shifting due to global change and acceleration of disruptive technologies. He said most employers believe that critical thinking and problem-solving skills will grow in prominence and 50 percent of all employees need re-skilling by 2025.

Shams Mahmud also urged for improvement of conventional skills to exploit the demographic dividend as the country’s workforce is diverse by skills and education to meet employment needs at home and abroad.

The DCCI President also suggested for re-skilling and up-skilling to equip the workforce due to technology shift with the support of ILO, UNIDO, UNDP, vocational skills building training, education for the low and semi-skilled professionals, provide regulatory support and easy access to finance.

Dr. M. Masrur Reaz, chairman of Policy Exchange presented the keynote paper. He said quality of jobs is more important for Bangladesh as the country has a vision to be graduated into an upper middle income status in near future.

Due to Covid pandemic, lower middle income countries in the world are hit hard by Covid-19 resulting in around 240 million jobs lost in the 2nd quarter of 2020.

But, in the wake of recovering economic activities and new normal situation, around 3.1 million new jobs may be created by 2021, he said.

Masrur also suggested for long-term skill strategy, public private partnership, regulatory reforms, industry partnership, financing skills programmes and skills training for women.