Youth Unemployment in Bangladesh

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According to International Labour Organization, Youth unemployment refers to the share of the labor force aged 15-24 without work but available for and seeking employment. In 2005 total youth unemployment in Bangladesh was 9.3%. A joint study of Bangladesh Planning Commission and the United Nations Development Programme states throughout the country than 2 million youths were unemployed in 2009.

The issue of youth unemployment in Bangladesh is very crucial for the overall development of the country. Due to the rapid growth of population, the country fails to create adequate opportunities for the youth in accordance with their educational qualifications and it has a profound impact on the socioeconomic development of the country. The education system is not adjusted to the needs of the labour market. Thus fresh graduates are not getting suitable jobs in the market. Youths here are doing well in their studies and passing out with good grades but in most of the cases their qualifications do not fit with the existing market demand and it causes the youth unemployment rate to increase. Many youths become disappointed and become tired of searching for jobs in the proper way. Most of the cases it is seen that bribe and links are largely influential for getting a job. Corruption, in the shape of favoritism in the selection process of jobs, has made the situation even worse.  Many of the youths are leading a vagabond lifestyle after being frustrated in their attempts to secure work. Unfortunately, some of them become involved in various anti-social activities and ruin their lives.

On the other side of the coin, nowadays youths are largely involving themselves in ICT sectors, especially in outsourcing through which they are trying to be entrepreneurs. The number of freelancers is growing gradually as youths performing outstandingly in this sector. Moreover after finishing their university studies many youths abroad and find better jobs with better reputations.  The less educated youths are now involving themselves in vocational trainings sectors with the aim of becoming self-employed.  For the last decade, the involvement of the youths in social activities has been noteworthy and it has been seen that youths are doing voluntary works along with their studies that makes their skill sharper and develops their ability to be more suitable for the existing market demand. To tackle the adverse situation of unemployment, youths are engaging themselves in various sectors of the society and the matter of hope is, they are also doing well in facing the challenges.

The Government along with some NGOs are working to reduce the unemployment rate through several projects and providing trainings to the young people.  Government is planning to create 10 million jobs under the five-year plan up to 2015, due to growth in manufacturing, construction and the service sectors. Technical education, vocational education, entrepreneurship, small scale business can reduce the unemployment rate of Bangladesh in the near future. More skilled based opportunities need to be initiated. Last but not the least, the most important issue is to standardise the education system to harmonise it with the market demand.

This article was written by Md. Sariful Islam.
Sariful is the Director of The International Youth Council of Bangladesh


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