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2 September, 2020 08:05:30 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 September, 2020 07:39:27 PM
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Upcoming challenges for graduates in Bangladesh

After this pandemic, we will have more graduates who will seek jobs in government and private sectors. The competition for private jobs is also high comparing to the government jobs now. Many people in private sectors have already lost their jobs during pandemic
Subrata Biswas
Upcoming challenges for graduates in Bangladesh

Like other countries in the world, Bangladesh is passing through a hard time now for Covid-19 pandemic which is attacking all groups of people physically, mentally, financially and so on. Undoubtedly, this pandemic is going to bring a harsh future for Bangladesh's large number of young unemployed population. The condition will be more terrible especially for new graduates who are going to have a job in post covid-19 period.

Being a populous country, Bangladesh is packed up with a lot of problems. A large number of its population is jobless or even not self-employed. Besides, many young graduates do not have any job or unable to make themselves self-employed to support their families. Nearly one million fresh graduates are being added every year to our existing unemployed population making the situation even more complex.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the unemployment rate in Bangladesh is 4.37 per cent which is equivalent to USA. Among this rate about 46 per cent of the total unemployed youth are university graduates. After this pandemic, we will have more graduates who will demand jobs in government and private sectors. The competition for private jobs is also high comparing to the government jobs now. Many people in private sectors have already lost their jobs during pandemic. Employers are found to limit their staffs as much as possible. So, the number of competitors for any jobs in post Covid-19 period will surely be more than double comparing to the time before the pandemic crisis in Bangladesh.

We have already seen that the number of applicants in 41st preliminary examination in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) has broken all the previous records. According to Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC), the total number of applicants in the 41stBCS exam is 4,75,000 for roughly 2,135 posts and it is the highest in the history of BCS exam. Some 223 candidates will vied for a single post.

In a joint survey of BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) and BRAC University, it is said that 57 per cent female and 42 per cent male graduates want to get government jobs. They prefer government jobs for the handsome salary, jobs security and other facilities comparing to private jobs. But, the government jobs will not be capable enough to meet up the excessive demand of job opportunities solely.

According to International Labour Organization (ILO), Bangladesh has more than 85.0 percent informal labours that are extremely vulnerable. It predicts that the pandemic will increase the number of less educated unemployed (directly connected to informal jobs) among the developing countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and so on. Besides, the crisis is causing an unprecedented reduction in economic activities and working hours. It is also said in ILO survey that this crisis is expected to wipe out 7.20 percent of working hours or 125 million full-time workers in Asia and the Pacific which will fuel the unemployment problem a bit more.

If it happens, how will our graduates meet the challenge? Most of the graduates are from general side where a few of them are from technical background. Our garment and other sectors are facing shortage of skilled manpower, and the skilled technical experts are being hired from abroad every year. Our graduates can be utilized in these fields after providing proper technical training opportunities.

This is happening because our local labour force lacks the required technical and managerial skilled manpower in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, all the universities conduct several technical subjects. But there are limitations of practical implementations. The ongoing closure of educational institutions is affecting approximately 37.0 million students across the country. If it lasts for a longer period, it will create negative impacts on economic and social lives. These increasing numbers of fresh graduates will fall in the state of an uncertainty and frustration resulting in increase of different social crimes like stealing, robbery, social clash and so on.

Again, the low quality of education during this pandemic will narrow down the upcoming employment opportunities for the fresh graduates. There will be a large group of unproductive youths who will also face troubles as the employment in the informal sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, construction and other services sector will be decreased. We get another shocking data from a recent survey of South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM). It says a negative income shock of 25.0 per cent has been found resulting in the overall poverty rate would be 40.9 per cent, meaning that another 20.4 per cent of the population or 33.0 million people would plunge into poverty.

The opportunities of studying or working in abroad for the students have already been decreased for pandemic. Many of our remittance earners have returned home as some countries from Middle East (hub of our remittance earnings) have limited their importing work forces. Some countries have also imposed restrictions in allowing students for higher studies. To keep pace with the upcoming challenges, the graduates have to be skilled in digital devices and other modern technologies for the competitive job market.

So, the graduates have to do something new and change the trend of our employment system. It is seen that they feel unwillingness about doing agricultural works or any small businesses when they fail to get any jobs.

At the same time, the universities and other educational institutions need to teach high-tech science and digital media as their demand is increasing globally. To cope up with fourth industrial revolution, the graduates should be digitally educated via increasing internet accessibility. The short-term and media-based education can be a better solution for the graduates as it opens the universal job opportunities.

Some jobs are disappearing while new opportunities are opening up for the Covid-19 crisis. It will be smoother when the graduates will be equipped with the right set of skills to make them employable for the post corona job market.

The writer is a lecturer, department of English, Royal University of Dhaka. E-mail: [email protected]

 

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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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