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17 January, 2020 11:46:39 AM
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Bangladesh needs more skilled workforce

To develop a skilled workforce we have 66 (TTC) Technical Training Centres which provide training in 55 trades or courses
Sheikh Iraj
Bangladesh needs more skilled workforce

Bangladesh is home to nearly 170 million people. Critics possibly might view this as a burden. They even can point the finger saying this is the root of innumerable social unrest in the country. On the other hand, the population can be turned into one of our key assets. We are becoming a fast developing nation and our present skilled labour force, political stability and industrial headship have made it possible. Since our independence, we are exporting skilled manpower, and remittance from these overseas workers is one of the largest contributors to our economy. Bangladesh is one of the most densely inhabited countries in the world. Within 147,570 km of landmass, such a huge population is indeed a rarity and that number continues to increase.

Bangladeshi workers can be found in 173 countries. More than 1.3 crore Bangladeshis live and work overseas. The government is taking further initiative and plans to send 7.5 lakh workers abroad this year, which is indeed welcome news. Earlier this year Japan and Bangladesh came to an agreement that Japan will hire a large number of skilled workers of various trades. Now whenever we think about exporting workforce to other countries, the Middle East counties automatically passes through our mind. The Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment minister Imran Ahmad recently stated that the markets of Japan, Cambodia, and Seychelles is already open. Some new countries, including Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary will be opened soon. The recent declaration from the minister gives us the hope that our job market is expanding not only in Asia but in European counties as well. However, there should be safeguards to ensure that authentic and professional recruiting agencies are working with the government. This will make sure the export of genuine skilled workforce.

 Dr. Mohsin Kabir, chairperson of Japan Bangladesh Friendship Institute told this newspaper, "There are not many experts who are equipped to train people who are looking to become skilled in the caregiving trade. For example, our institute is providing a three months training course on caregivers. There is huge potential in terms of exporting the skilled workforce of different trades in Japan and other countries. However, we need to have a proper guideline.  Some training centers do not have the proper establishment or expertise in this field. However, some institutes are already operating or trying to operate without any proper permission from the government. We request and hope the concern authorities to look further into this particular matter."

According to a report recently published in The Independent, Russia is planning to recruit skilled manpower from Bangladesh as well. All these are good indications but they contradict some information which suggests that our industries are facing a shortage of skilled manpower. According to the world's most used search engine Google. "Skilled manpower refers to the person who is trained, well-educated, energetic, experienced and devoted to their field and is capable of doing any specific work in a balanced way and efficiently. Teachers, doctors, engineers, etc." Also farmers, carpenter anyone who is an expert in his/her field should be counted as a skilled workforce. At least, if we believe in democracy and consider living in a liberal society our mindset should match or in any case come close in understating this notion. In our country, many do not give proper respect to our overseas workers.   In short, such a social mindset has to change, we should give more respect and better facilities for our overseas workers when they come home.  Organising regular programmes addressing this issue can be one of the solutions.  

Kazi Abed Hussain, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment informed: "At the moment we are trying to export skilled manpower to 173 countries. Now, most of the countries who are hiring our workforce request skilled manpower. To develop a skilled workforce we have 66 (TTC) Technical Training Centers which provide training in 55 trade or courses. Japan has a huge demand for skilled caregivers, and to meet that demand the government has permitted 8 recruiting agencies who are specifically working with this particular trade. To increase the export of skilled manpower a lot of goodwill and potent diplomacy is necessary, so in that regard, the government bodies and private institutes working with this sector have to have a better corporation with one and another. We are organising awareness programmes on how to go abroad in a legal way. We are informing the people how going abroad the illegal way may and does bring havoc to them and their family members.  

 While reading, watching or simply by coming across different diplomatic news of big world powers, one can see nations trying to spread their soft power influence in every way possible. Take the paid youtube food shows or starting a cultural centre for example. Such acts encourage and eventually pave the way to a better bilateral relation between nations. Since we are trying to export as much workers as possible in the different corners of the world, establishing new embassies or cultural centres in those countries can be taken into consideration.  

The writer is a journalist working

for The Independent

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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