A Bangladeshi migrant worker in the Middle East earns on an average a third of what his/her Sri Lankan counterpart gets and half of that of an Indian for the absence of proper certification, said a top official of Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF) yesterday.
They draw such a poor salary despite having the knowledge and skill and working the same hours, BEF President Kamran T Rahman said at a discussion with a group of economic reporters at InterContinental Hotel in Dhaka.
“This is why we need mutual recognition of the skills and certification…We cannot have any development keeping businesses outside,” Rahman said.
“There are 37 million people in Bangladesh, those who have no education and do not have any type of training,” said Tuomo Poutiainen, country director of International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Bangladesh.
“We know every year two million young people enter the labour market in Bangladesh. We need to act now for them. We have to focus on self employment, entrepreneurship, and job creation in informal economy for them,” he said. Anybody between the ages of 10 and 24 years could be in schools to learn and get training, Henrietta Fore, executive director of Unicef, said at the launch of a programme titled Generation Unlimited.
Under the programme, Unicef and ILO aim to train and improve skills of 7.3 million people in different sectors in Bangladesh by 2030, she said.
“This generation will make our future and our life. They are worried about their skills and they are worried about their future,” Fore said. She said young people should be very innovative to become entrepreneurs for creating employment. In order to become a lower middle income country, employment needs to be generated for eight out of 10 people, she said, adding that Unicef and ILO would generate seed fund for skills development.
“I think Generation Unlimited is a timely initiative,” said Ahmed Al Meraikhi, the UN secretary general's humanitarian envoy. “This kind of programme will fulfill the ambition of the people,” he said.