The recent Bangladesh Institute of Development report has said that one third of the educated youths are unemployed. Among the rest, 47.7 per cent have full-time jobs while 18.1 per cent have part-time jobs. The numbers leave us very concerned.
A BIDS team led by its director general KAS Murshid conducted the survey among youths aged 18-35, by communicating with them over Facebook and email.
The results say 11.67 of them remain unemployed for one to two years after their graduation while 18.05 per cent remain unemployed for over two years. About 19.54 per cent remain unemployed for six months to one year.
The last survey of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) had said 4.2 per cent of the country's workforce was unemployed. Truth be told, one does not need to see the results of a survey to realize the bleak picture of unemployment prevailing in the country. We can easily have an idea when we see the number of applicants against every post in the BCS or other jobs.
The government policymakers would have turned down the results had the survey been carried out by a private or foreign organisation. But the truth is that all the surveys on unemployment show similar numbers. A few years back, the Economic Intelligence Unit said Bangladesh had the highest number of youths who are educated but unemployed.
The number of educated people in the country is on the rise and that is certainly some good news. But it means nothing if we cannot offer them jobs. One of the main aims of education is to groom skilled workforce. The society and the state make huge investments to this end. But if one third of the educated youths are unemployed what is the point of this education?
The United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Index had termed Bangladesh's workforce an asset, saying by 2030 the country will have a workforce of around 130 million. But in order to reap the dividends, appropriate job opportunities have to be created besides creating skilled workers.
We are setting up new educational institutes without trying to improve the quality of our primary and secondary education system, which is resulting in a workforce that does not have the required skills. As a result, our employers are being forced to recruit foreigners at the top positions. The universities are founding newer departments and faculties but no one asks if they are required at all. Ensuring a sustainable economic development and increasing private investment is a must in order to build a competitive workforce and provide them with suitable jobs.