The country does not have any shortage of educated youths with degrees, there is a severe shortage of skilled manpower – which forces most of the graduates to suffer in the job market, said business leaders.
On the other hand, the crisis compels the private sector to hire mid-level workers from other countries, they told a webinar titled "Human Skills Required for Bangladesh to Navigate through New Normal due to the Pandemic" organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) on Tuesday.
In the keynote paper, Federation of Bangladesh Human Resource Organisations President Md Musharrof Hossain said no one wants to spend for human development despite the huge shortage of skilled manpower. Millions of educated youths are trying to enter the job market every year.
"China has been maintaining its position while other countries are lagging behind in trade and commerce during the pandemic. The prime reason for China's success is that the country has been spending a lot every year on skill development," he noted.
Syed Almas Kabir, president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (Basis), said about 22,000 pupils have been graduating in computer science every year.
"They have to be trained for another six months as the fresh graduates have knowledge, but they are not skilled. If their skills could be developed during the academic career, then this issue would not emerge," he commented.
Almas Kabir said there are about 30 lakh graduates in the country, but they are not getting any job due to lack of skills.
Meantime, the discussants said about 1 crore youths are unemployed in the country at present. They said the income of ten ordinary Bangladeshi expatriates will be equal to the income of a skilled migrant.
The speakers advocated sweeping changes in the curriculum to create a skilled workforce.
AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed said almost 68% of the population lies between the ages of 15-64, which are considered as the working age of the population of a country. Human capital is one of the key drivers of corporate success and sustained competitive advantage.
He also said the value of the knowledge and skills that employees and stakeholders collectively bring to a company is the business's human capital.
"Human capital is unique and differs from any other capital. The companies need to achieve goals, develop and remain innovative. Developing and managing a successful business requires attention to both the quality and satisfaction of its employees," he added.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said public-private joint efforts can create skilled human resources. "As the driving force of the 21st century, we need to increase productivity by increasing people's knowledge and skills," added the minister.
He believes all the issues of the country can be resolved only by converting the huge population into human resources.