Dhaka, Bangladesh
Capacity building essential to meet skill gap

Capacity building essential to meet skill gap

As the demand for the labour force is projected to increase from existing 63.5 million to 88.7 million in 2025, country’s ten leading sectors alone need 5.43 million trained labours in 2020 and 7.21 million in 2025, according to a study report, reports BSS. “Total training target for the country’s ten priority sectors will be 5.43 and 7.21 million workers in the years 2020 and 2025 as in 10 years time, a 78 per cent increase takes place in the country,” said the study report released by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Sunday. “Skill training is very important not only for exporting manpower aboard, but also necessary for the domestic labour market,” said Finance Minister AMA Muhith while speaking at the report unveiling ceremony held at his secretariat office here. According to BIDS, the ten sectors are construction, Ready Made Garments (RMG), textile, agro-processing, healthcare, IT, hospitality and tourism, leather, light engineering and shipbuilding. BIDS prepared the report styled “Labour Market and Skill Gap in Bangladesh” to review and assess the current status and emerging needs of the Bangladesh economy in terms workforce especially in priority sectors and to project future skill needs in order for the country to achieve higher growth in these sectors. Senior Secretary of the Finance Division Hedayetullah Al Mamoon delivered welcome speech while Director General of BIDS KAS Murshid made a power point presentation on the report. According to the report, about 76 per cent skill gap is existed in the agro-food sector which is the highest out of the nine priority sectors. While highlighting the skill gap in the RMG sector, Murshid said there are 8,577 unskilled, 48,130 semi-skilled and 1,19,479 skilled workers. Skill gap for “skilled workers” is also high (40 percent) in the IT sector as demand here is mainly for skilled and semi-skilled labour, he added. “Generally skilled workers and semi skilled workers are in short supply in every sector,” Murshid said, adding that there is a surplus in the supply of doctors in the health sector while nurses are in short supply. The report also said the labour demand of agro-food sector will be increased to overall 261 percent in financial year 2025-26 while 54 percent in construction, 55.05 in health care, 100 percent in ICT and 107 percent in leather goods. In FY26, 35 percent skilled, 32.8 percent semi-skilled and 33.1 percent unskilled labour demand will be in hospitality and tourism sector while 3.17 percent unskilled, 48.75 percent semi-skilled and 122.6 percent skilled labour demand will be in RMG sector. The shipbuilding sector will be the most demandable sector in FY26 where there will be labour demand of 677 percent for unskilled manpower, 677 percent semi-skilled manpower and 577 percent skilled manpower. Murshid said training facilities and infrastructure development are essential for all sectors, including the health care especially for nurses and medical technicians to meet skill gap in the sector. “Cleanliness and physical environment of the shop floor, quality control, lab testing facilities and formal training in higher level are needed for agro-food sector,” he added. He said supply of semi-skilled workers in RMG sector can come from existing and newly created training facilities. “Even if enterprises prefer to create skill through in-house training, it may be easier for them to train the semi-skilled workers and the training organisations should re-orient themselves,” he added. He also recommended setting up proper employee training institutes, deve-loping standardized quality training curriculums, supporting backward linkage development and linking the private sector in institutional management to meet the future demand of workers in shipbuilding sector.

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