Skilled and dedicated human resources are prerequisites for the development of every industry worldwide. The economic development of a country depends on the success of its industries. In this regard, the role of human resources is invaluable, especially in the case of growing industries.
There are five sequential stages in the evolution of an industry. This leads to five distinct kinds of industry environments for the companies playing in that particular industry. The five stages are – embryonic, growth, shakeout, mature and decline.
An embryonic industry is one that has just begun to develop in a country, and the growth stage implies that the demand for the industry's products will begin to increase. However, the shakeout stage is called the explosive growth stage. This stage cannot be maintained indefinitely. The mature stage is the condition where growth is halted. This leads to the declining stage with a negative growth rate in that particular industry.
At present, Bangladesh has some industries that are reaching the shakeout and mature stages. This indicates that a declining stage is not far behind.
Therefore, it is high time policymakers find out about potential industries and take proper steps to nurture them through both the embryonic and growing stages. This will help maintain the current economic growth of the country.
According to the United Nations (UN), every year, the ocean economy has an estimated turnover between $3 and $6 trillion. The Bangladeshi ocean-based industry is estimated to be worth nearly $6.2 billion and is considered a huge prospect. Thus, it is reasonable to argue that the blue industry of Bangladesh is a growing industry with potential for huge profit.
To benefit from that potential, the country needs a pool of skilled and dedicated human resources who will be able to work efficiently and effectively in this industry.
The ocean economy, i.e., the blue economy, provides the livelihood for millions of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. The people living in the coastal areas of Bangladesh are the poorest and most vulnerable in the country. For them, this growing blue economy industry can be a boon. This will also assist the country in maintaining continuous economic growth as well as achieving its dream vision of becoming a developed country by 2041.
However, a growing industry like the ocean-based industry requires skilled human resources. Skilled human resources are essential for developing and implementing strategic management policies and procedures.
Training and development programmes based on ocean industry specifications should be developed and implemented for the people, especially those living in the coastal areas.
Moreover, the government should also start some practical programmes to develop blue economy-based entrepreneurs in the country. All sizes of organisations i.e., micro, small and big, should have the opportunity to conduct business in this growing industry.
In this regard, specialised education and training institutes can be established in the coastal areas, they can also serve as emergency shelters during natural calamities.
Furthermore, short courses and training can be offered at all universities and colleges across the country so that a large number of our students are prepared to work in such a promising industry. That way, the industry can have the skilled and dedicated manpower it needs for a greater industry outcome in the near future.
Ocean-based industries are also directly or indirectly associated with the tourism, fishing and transport industries. As a result, human resource development in those industries is also critical.
We know that single-use plastic is a highly criticised issue in tourist sites in Bangladesh. The majority of these plastics end up in the oceans. If the people working in tourism businesses (such as hotels, restaurants and resorts) are also given more and more training regarding the sustainable and environmental aspects of Bangladesh's blue economy, they will become aware of the negative impact of plastic on the oceans and maritime lives. As a result, they would be more interested in avoiding single-use plastic.
Similarly, fishermen in the fishing industry, as well as the sailors, ship crews and other human resources in the ocean transport industry would be more conscious of the need to protect the oceans from pollution caused by their activities.
Under the leadership of the honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the present government is already working on delta planning. This initiative can also be supported if we now start developing our human resources by concentrating on the blue economy.
Hence, it is high time to take necessary initiatives such as training and development, short courses, awareness-building programs, and so on, to actualise the huge economic potential of the blue economy in Bangladesh.
Dr Md Asadul Islam is an Assistant Professor of BRAC Business School, BRAC University
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.