Imran A. Chowdhury
Major tangible assets that Bangladesh has its manpower. In excess of 47 million which is rough- ly 30% of the total popu- lation of 158 million is youth from the age of 18 to 24. These vast bank of youth need to be chan- neled through contribut- ing into the exchequer of the country. As well as getting to make a career for themselves too. An
unemployed army of youth becomes an eco- nomical, social and de- velopment stigma at some point. Which our country can be very sus- ceptible to fall prey into that climax.
The West is suffering from a mammoth short- age of manpower in its service oriented indus- tries, Specially, in the
Europe and UK. There is just an acute shortage of many other fields inter alia service sector. The main shortage as per the financial times newspa- per(Nov 8, 2018) is Hos- pitality, Leisure & Service, IT, Construction, Health- care. Although in the UK the employment to popu- lation ratio is all time high yet these important sec- tors are suffering from a shortage of people to employ. Mainland Eu- rope has massive de- mand for Service, Build- ing and Labour workers (Financial Times, 26 Nov 18). It is imperative that Bangladeshi private and government sectors proactively give a deeper look into these to identi- fy the potential of this ever growing markets.
Service sector alone can perhaps absorb in excess of 2-3 million em- ployees from places like Bangladesh. Europe is a major tourist attraction in the whole world and which attract in excess of 1.4 billion tourists per year. It is one of the big- gest sources of revenue for the whole of Eu- ropean and Scandinavian economies. There are other neighbouring coun- tries of ours who are very proactive to tap into this growing sector and they have been relatively suc- cessful as well.
Our country is missing out in sundry segments which are not at all ex- plored. Due to some un- founded and un-re- searched red tape is not allowing our youth and students to get employ- ment in the fast growing sectors of yachts and cruise liners. This sector
has seen phenomenal growth over the last 10 years. For these kinds of employment the employ- ees need a CDC (Con- tinuous Discharge Certifi- cate) which is available in all almost all other coun- tries in the world but not in our country. If a pas- senger of a ship does not need a CDC then why then a waiter or a security guard or chef or a laundry man intends to work in the ships, cruise liners and the merchant ships will not be allowed to obtain a CDC. If the passenger from Bangla- desh are allowed to be onboard a ship without a CDC why not then ban the passenger to board a ship without a CDC. As it is an integral part of the world maritime law. In the UK and elsewhere even a sea & landlocked country like Nepal any-
one can obtain a CDC with an employment let- ter. If he has the right kind of employment con- tract to work in the ships – should suffice to issue one. But, in Bangladesh issuance of the same is closed sine die. The cruise liner industry is $150 Billion industry and it pays around $45 billion worth of wages per an- num. These jobs in the liners are predominantly taken up by youth after their studies or during study breaks and many take them as permanent- ly. This is a great poten- tial sector.
Although, future employ- ees have to be motivated to repatriate back to Bangladesh after the completion of their ten- ure. This trend must have to be practised by all fu-
ture prospective employ- ees. I have found in Venice and Italy that people from our neigh- bouring countries are working in those ships & yachts which I saw during my last holiday in Italy in August 2019.
The service sector in Hospitality and leisure segment need chefs, waiters, Chef de rang, chef de party, cook, bar tender, room service and house keeping jobs. There is an acute short- age too. Let alone talk about additional sectors.
Our country needs to have a holistic look into these growing value added sectors of oppor- tunities and set up world class institutions and with world standard curricu- lum modules, accredita- tions in association with
international hoteliers and leisure tour opera- tors. A proper spoken English, French and German training must have to be imparted to all future employees with ex- tra emphasis on listening, accents, colloquial words and social banter. If the spoken English(both speaking and listening) of our nurses were good then there is a huge po- tential of exploring a new market for our nurses in the NHS of United King- dom with a little bit of ad- justment in curriculum and accreditations. An intensive training of 1 year will produce world class employees em- ployable by any world class conglomerates op- erating in those sectors.
However, the mindset ought to have the strict urge to repatriate once the contract ends. Oth- erwise, it will yet again in- furiate the employers and countries to form a differ- ent view on the overall countrymen’s future trav- els. That is an essential motivation which needs 100% attention.
Youth is the future of our nation and multi faceted employment av- enues at home and abroad are the only route to absorb them in jobs to boost the economy, earn revenue, provide a social safety net and build a self sufficient stronger society.
With a comprehensive plan of action from set- ting up relevant institu- tions, building partner- ships with the potential future employers, work- ing in collaboration, cre- ating a synergy of work and ethics and promoting multi nations multi lateral ties to have work permit visa arrangements will bring a multi billion dollar window of opportunities of employments for our youth.
[the writer is the Founder & CEO of a Think- Tank and NGO. www.c-ppp.org]