Academics, senior journalists and diplomats said employment generation for the youth during the post-Covid-19 period is a big challenge for Bangladesh.
The country has to prepare its youths to face the challenge considering the importance of the issue, they added.
They came up with their views in a virtual event organised to launch the month-long "Youth Employability Campaign" on Wednesday.
As part of its observance of the International Youth Day on August 12, the EMK Center organised the event in partnership with the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (Ulab) and The Business Standard, a leading business daily of the country.
The month-long campaign will include webinars, policy dialogues, training programmes, and social media campaigns around five thematic areas, with employability being the central theme.
In the event, the speakers discussed on the "Future of Work Post-Covid-19: Building a sustainable post-pandemic future for the youth".
Asif U Ahmed, acting director at the EMK Center, said, "When I interact with youths, I find them to be worried about their employment and future after the five months of shutdown period due to the pandemic. Somehow, the employment and skills should have among the youth is not well discussed around the different forums of respective arenas."
"I have recently completed a research with the government and a2i where we can see that almost 20.44 million people have lost their jobs by June this year. Though some of them are getting back their jobs, the number of unemployment is very big. So, we should look into this very important topic of employment and skill they require particularly to survive in the post-pandemic era," he added.
Professor Imran Rahman, special advisor to the Board of Trustee of Ulab, said, "Post-Covid employment generation is going to be a big challenge. The youth must take up the challenge and the campaign will empower them through training and learning."
Sharier Khan, executive editor of The Business Standard, said, "Bangladesh has been witnessing a slowdown in private investment over the last couple of years. But the investment has been driven in a big way by the government's mega projects. We are not yet sure what will happen after controlling the Covid-19. Then, will the investment roll out and young people will get a lot of jobs? We are not sure."
"The mass media is under tremendous pressure all over the world. As a mass media professional, I think the youth should not aim at getting jobs in the media within the next one or two years," he added.
Joshua Kamp, assistant cultural affairs officer of the US Embassy in Dhaka, said, "We have to celebrate the potentials of the youth. They will find a solution to future challenges. The US is committed to providing opportunities and building skill for them."
The programme was moderated by Aaquib Md Shatil, programme coordinator of EMK Center.