Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said Bangladesh has no alternative to skill development to reach the expected growth target.
He said this while inaugurating the National Skills Competition, launched across the country to develop and enhance skills of Bangladesh's large workforce – for all trades – to global standards.
The National Skills Development Authority (NSDA), under the Prime Minister's Office, organised the event at a city hotel, reads a press release on Saturday.
Speaking as the chief guest, Kamal said, "The government has taken all the steps. It set up the NSDA and other relevant bodies that are working relentlessly to materialise the government's vision."
The finance minister also said many organisations are providing skills development training, and the country's workers are already highly skilled in many fields.
However, he maintained, Bangladesh has to make all its people skilled.
Delivering the vote of thanks, NSDA Executive Chairman Md Faruque Hossain said the NSDA is providing skills enhancement training to the country's workforce by regulating skills training institutes through designing, planning, and approving training and skills modules, setting standards for skills, and creating awareness at central, divisional, district and upazila levels.
The competition will create an opportunity for the country's youths "to upskill and reskill" to explore jobs at home and abroad, Faruque maintained.
"Skills training in Bangladesh is facing a setback. Parents often don't want their children to pursue skills training as they don't realise its value. The trainees also rarely aspire to be trained in the technical and vocational stream because they wrongly perceive it as a place for low-achievers. This holds the government back from achieving its target of creating a skilled workforce," the NSDA chief said.
So, the NSDA is going to observe the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by organising the "Divisional and National Skills Competition" as part of the authority's communication and mobilisation activities for disseminating and popularising skills training in Bangladesh, Faruque said.
"Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already given her kind consent to organise the two-phase competition. In the first phase, divisional competitions will be held in eight divisional headquarters in 20 trades. The winners will finally compete in the National Skills Competition – the Bangabandhu Skills Prize – to be held in Dhaka."
The trades include concrete construction, carpentry, electrical installation, plumbing and heating, painting and decorating, wall and floor tiling, brick laying, plastering, hairdressing, cooking, beauty therapy, bakery, patisserie and confectionery and restaurant service, fashion technology, floristry, graphic design, web design and development, IT software solutions for business, and welding.
Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman spoke as the special guest at the event.
The Asian Development Bank Country Director Manmohan Parkash spoke as the guest of honour while Secretary to the Prime Minister's Office Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah presided over the programme.