They spoke at a webinar titled “Future of Skills” focused on how the young generation can prepare itself for the future job market
The outcome and productivity of existing training methods and facilities for Bangladesh's young people is very low.
To change the narrative of the country, the young generation has to be given high quality training, which will upgrade its productivity, caliber and competency.
Panel speakers said this at the sixth installment of the week-long webinar held on Friday, marking National Youth Day. Grameenphone organised the event.
The webinar titled "Future of Skills" focused on the demand for skills on the job market and how the young generation can prepare itself for the future.
Participating in the discussion, Mokhlesur Rahman, senior operations officer at The World Bank, said, "From primary to university level, Bangladesh's maximum skill level is around 38%. But, to graduate to a middle income country, the skill level has to be around 50-60%."
He further said the skills-improvement training provided to the youth by different institutes and organisations is very low in productivity.
"We need to inspire our young generation towards high productivity, high caliber and competency; thus the country's narrative will be changed," said Mokhlesur Rahman.
Existing skills development initiatives have not been based on a long-term policy, he said. Most of the programmes have been undertaken on an ad-hoc and project basis, he added.
"Therefore, a competency and coordination gap exists. At the same time, training programmes and market demand are very contradictory," he said.
Department of Youth Development (DYD) is a government organisation that works to develop the skills of less educated unemployed youths across the country.
Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, director general of DYD, also participated in the discussion and said that at first youths need to find out which professions will not be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence in the future.
"The training that we are offering also helps young people manage a livelihood. But to understand the future job market's demand and to formulate a work plan, all expertise, institutions and organisations have to work together," he said.
Tasmiah Rahman, current in-charge of the Brac Skills Development Programme, said there is an information gap in the sector.
Students are studying subjects that are not in demand on the job market, she said. On the other hand, some universities do not offer subjects that have market demand, she continued.
She said, "BRAC is planning to start online and offline career hubs in 10 districts of the country, which will preserve the information of young people and suggest them the right way for a career as per their skills and wishes."
"Here, we will be able to run an awareness raising programme for the youth so that they know what types of training or skills they need to develop themselves," she said.
Talking about the potential professions of the future, Syed Masud Mahmood, head of Learning & Development People & Organization at Grameenphone Ltd, said e-commerce, digital marketing, data analysis and cyber security could be the prospective sectors in which youths could shape their careers.