The Information Communication Technology (ICT) Division has launched an online training programme so that freelancers can hone their skills during the Covid-19 shutdown.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for the ICT Division, inaugurated the programme at a virtual conference on Sunday.
Under this programme, 40,000 youths who have passed their HSC exams will be trained to work in the digital sector.
With 6.5 lakh freelancers, Bangladesh has the second largest number of online workers in the world, and the government wants to push the sector forward in a bid to help youths become self-dependent, said Palak.
The ICT Division has received 185,000 applications for the programme, and 40,000 trainees will be selected from them through an initial test. They will then be divided into 15 batches, said Akhtar Mamun, project director of the programme.
The division has designed a digital course curriculum and selected 39 organisations to run the training programme, targeting mostly graphics and web designing and digital marketing.
In graphics designing, 11,000 youths will be trained while 14,000 will get training in web designing. The remaining 15,000 will be trained in digital marketing.
State Minister Palak said this training will not ensure jobs or earnings in the digital field, rather the trainees will be taught what they need to be good in the freelancing arena, or how to get a moderate number of jobs in this field.
All the classes will also be uploaded online so that trainees can revise, and interested persons who did not get the opportunity to sit for training can also get access to the curriculum and train themselves.
The ICT Division had designed the programme back in 2018 with the aim of conducting physical training classes across the country.
The process was moving accordingly, but soon after the Covid-19 breakout in Bangladesh, it was decided to use virtual training.
"In the post-Covid-19 situation, freelancing jobs will be more important and companies will be more interested to maintain social distancing," said Palak.
The state minister said the government has a target to earn $5 billion by 2025 from the ICT sector, and for achieving that target, freelancing could be a major sector. They have also targeted creating 10 million job opportunities in the ICT market, and this project will be helpful in achieving that.
Trainers and trainees can choose Google Meet or Zoom platform for their trainings, five days a week, for four hours every day. The total duration of the project will be 50 days and 200 hours.