ILO, MOLE bring together stakeholders to address critical labour market challenges

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) today organised a technical dialogue on National Employment Policy and Labour Market Employment Challenges in Bangladesh.

The objective of the technical dialogue was to discuss the critical challenges arising from current labour market trends in Bangladesh and to explore effective means of addressing those through the National Employment Policy (NEP), said a press release.

Begum Monnujan Sufian, State Minister of Labour and Employment, was present as the chief guest.

She stated that, “‘The Ministry of Labour and Employment, together with other ministries and stakeholders, will pursue evidence-based policy development and targeted interventions to create an enabling environment for decent employment opportunities. This initiative will be aligned with the Employment Policy developed last year. As part of its implementation the Ministry of Labour and Employment is also exploring the establishment of an Employment Directorate to coordinate the employment agenda”.

At the technical dialogue session, Dr M A Razzaque, Chairman of Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID), delivered the keynote presentation that shed light on the employment policy, context, and labour market challenges in Bangladesh.

He emphasized on mainly the appropriate implementation of the employment policy that needs to build the institutional capacity of the ministry of labour, focusing on the social protection of the workers in the informal economy, analyzing demand-supply gap of high potential sectors for employment and counting underemployment as crucial as unemployment. Tuomo Poutiainen, Country Director for ILO Bangladesh ensured ILO’s support to the Government of Bangladesh to achieve LDC graduation and vision 2041 by implementing the 4th decent work country programme.

He said, “It is evident that jobs creation, social security, quality of employment and international trade are crucial to achieve the goals, but the National Employment Policy could be the pivotal tool to pushing employment agenda further in connection to achieve the country’s vision”.

“Promoting the creation of full and productive employment has been an integral part of ILO’s work in Bangladesh. This is because decent jobs are not just any jobs but the basis for peace, social justice, social inclusion, economic development, and personal fulfillment” he added.

Dr Md Kawser Ahmed, Member (Secretary) of the General Economics Division (GED) mentioned, “The government emphasized on providing industry-relevant skills training, promoting entrepreneurship, and creating job opportunities that can help to empower the two million new market entrants”.

He highlighted that addressing challenges in employment is one of the priority areas of government various plans.

He said, “Implementing the National Employment Policy of Bangladesh is key to addressing labour market challenges, promoting inclusion, and driving sustainable development. With targeted policies and interventions, we can effectively tackle unemployment, skills mismatch, and other pressing issues, ultimately improving livelihoods and fostering socioeconomic progress.”

Sharifa Khan, Secretary of the Economic Relations Division, noted the need for the importance of skilled workers in the post-graduation time to maintain competitiveness.

She said, “LDC graduation brings forth labour market and employment consequences, highlighting the need for skilled workers and increased labour productivity to enhance competitiveness in exporting high-end products and services. This timely technical dialogue on the national employment policy aligns with the macroeconomic challenges of Bangladesh, providing valuable
insights and solutions for the future.”

Dr Shahnaz Arefin ndc, Secretary of the Statistics and Informatics Division, addressed the importance of labour market intelligence and labour market data in formulating and implanting employment policies.

She said, “Labour market intelligence and data play a crucial role in formulating and implementing effective employment policies. As Bangladesh strives to achieve SDGs by 2030 and graduate from LDC status by 2026, establishing a comprehensive labour market information system (LMIS) becomes imperative. This requires resource allocation, interagency coordination,
private sector engagement, and a robust monitoring system to support  evidence-based decision-making and ensure effective implementation of employment initiatives”.

BSS

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