Md Jashim Uddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), said the lack of skilled manpower has become a major obstacle in achieving development targets.
"The government must focus on creating skilled manpower to achieve various economic and development goals. Therefore, it has become imperative to harmonize the formal education curriculum with industry," he was addressing the first meeting of the FBCCI Standing Committee on National Economic Policy and Planning, 8th Five Year Plan, SDG and Vision 2041 held at FBCCI Icon on Sunday.
Md Jashim Uddin said the garment factories are running with a 15 to 20% skilled manpower shortage. There is a lack of necessary skills required in the industry although there is no shortage of highly educated youths in the country. Therefore, entrepreneurs have to depend on foreigners for various positions of management.
The president of the apex trade body called upon the National Skills Development Authority to be more dynamic said a press release.
He also called for the recruitment of skilled manpower in government offices to meet the challenges in the graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status.
"In future, the free trade agreement should be signed, new strategies should be adopted to protect local industries after becoming a developing country. Therefore, the government agencies will need more dynamic and skilled manpower to deal with the more complex global trade issues," the FBCCI chief said.
Md Jashim Uddin also called upon the government agencies to consult with the private sector before formulating policies as the policies formed without consultation often makes difficult to implement as they do not reflect the field level realities.
Earlier, the members of the standing committee spoke on economic development as well as reduction of inequality, improvement of education, industry-academia linkage, formulation of a national strategy on the 4IR, women empowerment, and increase in the use of renewable energy.
The industrialisation of the country is mainly stuck in Dhaka and Chattogram. Establishing economic zones across the country alone cannot decentralise the industry unless a township is built, they added.
Nadia Binte Amin, the director-in-charge of the committee, said the SME sector contributes up to 80% to the economies of developed countries. In Bangladesh, this is only 60%.
"Government policy cooperation needs to be further enhanced to harness the potential of the SME sector," she added.
AKM Shamsuddoha, chairman of the committee, presided over the meeting. FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu, Directors Bijoy Kumar Kejriwal, Md Naser, Syed Almas Kabir, Secretary-General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, Advisor Manzur Ahmed, Standing Committee Members Shamim Ahmed, Tasfia Jasim, ASM Mainuddin, Syed Habib Ali, Munir Ahmed, Ayesha Siddique, Shamima Shirin and Md Nazmul Islam were also present.