Job Market Youth's Expectations & Self-Employment

Majhar Mannan

18 November 2020

Though it is very difficult to get an accurate survey on the unemployment rate in Bangladesh, but it can be said with certainty that unemployment is increasing day by day in the country. It is a problem caused by the scarcity of employment compared to the manpower of a country. Jobless people cannot contribute to the economy of the country or even build their own beautiful life.  They are being involved in various types of criminal activities due to the unbearable pain of unemployment.
However, 32 percent of the total population of Bangladesh is youth which is about 5 crore and 30 lakh. Among them, about 27 percent have no training, education or formal knowledge.  Under 23 ministries of the government, various trainings are being imparted to the youth across the country to enhance their skills. The government has taken up the challenge of eliminating unemployment and has promised to create 1.5 crore jobs in the next five years.
According to the survey by the Government Development Research Institute (BIDS), one-third of the country's Secondary to post graduate are unemployed. The survey also shows that about 33 percent of educated youth are completely unemployed.  However, according to the ILO survey, there are about three crore unemployed in Bangladesh and in the next few years it will be 6 crores.  39.40 percent of the total population will be unemployed.  There is no accurate update on how many jobs have been created or how many have become unemployed in the last one year. Large scale of job opportunities and entrepreneurship were not created. The employment picture has not changed much. In Bangladesh, 18 lakh young people join the labour market every year. 6 lakh of them migrate abroad. More than 10 lakh jobs are created in the country's labour market.
Indeed, there is no need for a survey to know the severity of unemployment in Bangladesh. It is easy to guess that unemployment has taken a terrible form in the country. UNDP says, number of the working people in Bangladesh in 2030 will be around 13 crore. Currently, two out of every five unemployed youths have completed their higher secondary or Bachelor's degree. Unemployment is rising in parallel with the rising rate of education.
There are various reasons behind this unemployment.  These are; 1. Indiscriminate opening of the door to higher education, 2. Severe tendency among the students to get higher education whether they have talent or not, 3. Certificate and memorization based education, 4. Lack of technical education, 5. Dream of being a high-rank official, 6. Reluctance to self- employment, 7. Attitude of not being an entrepreneur, 8. Lack of skills or not having the skills required for the job, 9. Lack of investment, 10. Lack of proper training, 11. Lack of loan facilities, 12. The pressure of overpopulation, 13. Lack of industries and factories, 14. Unplanned production system, 15. State infrastructural weakness, 16. Reluctance to manual labour, 17. Considering self- employment disrespectful, 18. Linguistic weakness, 19. Reluctance of highly educated youth towards agriculture.
In order to eliminate unemployment there is no alternative to self-employment and appropriate training. Unemployment will become more alarming if skilled human resources are not developed.  It has become essential to take various strategies in creating employment like 1. To increase employment in manufacture and service sectors, 2.  To expand small and cottage industries, 3. To motivate the youth in agriculture, 4. To give loan on easy terms and conditions to create young entrepreneurs,  5. To expand career oriented education, 6. To build an International standard education system, 7. To accelerate sustainable development, 8. To introduce technical and vocational education all over the country, 9.  Technical education should be given more importance, 10. To increase the allocation for the youth in budget, 11. To introduce one stop service for the youths, 12. ICT centers should be set up across the country for the youth, 13. To arrange appropriate training for the youth who are interested in foreign employment, 14. To strengthen the empowerment of women, 15. To increase investment in private sector.
Now the biggest challenge is to create an environment for young people to become entrepreneurs.  We need to create a social safety net for the youth. Young people need to be trained on how to build themselves with a small investment. Young ones have an unlimited addiction to jobs and they need to be brought out of such focus. There is a misconception among the youth of this country that if they do not get job, they will not be valued in the society and also not be considered able to get married. They need to be brought out of such misconception. The idea that higher education is not essential for everyone needs to be created among the youth. The job market has been stagnant for a long time due to the Covid -19 pandemic. But now for the government, no other way is there but to eliminate unemployment wasting no time.

(Mr. Majhar is Assistant Professor, BAF Shaheen College, Kurmitola).

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