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'Youth Employment in Bangladesh'

Financial Express, 9 April 2012 - Only less than 10 per cent of the total youth population of the country live a prosperous life in terms of standard of living as youths face inequality, insecurity and vulnerability in workplaces, analysts said Sunday.

They said out of the two million new job seekers entering the job market per year youths constitute the majority which indicates the fact that the unemployment rate is higher among youths than any other age group.

They suggested that the government should include youths in the central national policy and ensure sufficient budget for labour market development, training and education purpose.

The revelations came at a national conference on 'Youth Employment in Bangladesh' jointly organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and International Labour Organisation (ILO).

State Minister for Youth and Sports Ahad Ali Sarkar inaugurated the conference as the chief guest while Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar and ILO Bangladesh Country Director Andre Bogui were present as special guests.

The conference will provide a platform for the stakeholders to highlight the importance of youth employment issues and priorities in Bangladesh and provide recommendations for way forward, said the organisers.

The state minister said the government is going to revise its National Youth Policy 2003, to benefit from the ILO's experience with regard to the employment policy and how the youth employment issues can be adequately addressed in the policy.

Based on the definition of the National Youth Policy 2003, about one-third of the country's population or about 50 million persons are youth (18-35 years).

A Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) study showed the country's average increase of youth labour force per year has been 3.8 per cent during 2000-2006 and 4.4 per cent during 2006-2010.

It also said the prospect of future remittance inflow and overseas employment depends on factors like world economic situation, economic condition of the employing countries, and the skill composition of the prospective migrants.

A recent report of ILO Director General on 'The Youth Employment Crisis: Time for Action' has warned that an unprecedented youth employment crisis is prevailing in the world.

In 2012, out of the total 75 million unemployed youth worldwide 45 per cent live in Asia and the Pacific. Globally, young people are on an average nearly three times more likely to be unemployed. Four out of every ten unemployed are young women or men. In Asia and the Pacific, young people are up to six times more likely to find themselves unemployed than adults, said the report.

Mr Sarkar said providing one job for every family is an election commitment of the present government. In support of this the Ministry of Youth and Sports is implementing a National Service Programme in three districts on a pilot basis.

"Our government gives adequate attention to this massive population, particularly on skills development and micro-credit for both wage and self employment," said the minister.

He said according to the estimates of the Planning Commission, about 9.2 million people are likely to enter into the labour force over the sixth five-year plan period (2010-2015).

Andre Bogui said youth aspirations for decent jobs, inclusive development policies and social justice triggered the surge in youth-led protests across the world.

"In this context, during the last ILO's Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting held in Kyoto in December 2011, the ILO's constituents namely governments, employers and workers' organsiations called for implementing measures to address the challenge of creating opportunities for young women and men to enter a sustainable employment and decent work," said Mr Bogui.

The ILO's governing body adopted "Youth Employment" as a key item of the agenda of the June 2012 International Labour Conference in Geneva as young people are still finding difficult to have their voice and priorities heard by policymakers at global level, he added.


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