On July 18, 2017, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center’s Office of Professional Development, in partnership with The Daily Star, organized a roundtable discussion on ‘Skills for middle-income Bangladesh: Preparing today’s youth for tomorrow’s challenges’. Supported by the Aga Khan Foundation (Bangladesh) and Rizwan Adatia Foundation, this roundtable was organized to shed light on the pertinent issues of youth development and employment challenges as Bangladesh graduates to a middle-income country.
The guests at the roundtable, representing diverse manufacturing and service sectors as well as government and development institutions, shared their perspectives on the skills required to excel in a middle-income Bangladesh, the challenges of talent acquisition, and the collective role of the public, private, and civil sectors to better prepare students for the realities of the workplace.
“A thriving middle-income Bangladesh will require a competent workforce to sustain our growth trajectory, so leadership and management skills will need to be introduced to the youth workforce from an early stage”, stated Akhter Matin Chaudhury, Chairperson, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center.
Discussants talked about the set of skills that the youth in Bangladesh must look to build to be successful in the future as they prepare to enter the job market. The roundtable also focused on the skills that are required for professionals who can build and grow effective institutions as a middle-income Bangladesh will also need skilled mid-level managers who can pave the way for future leaders in the public, private, and civil sectors.
“It is critical for the future of Bangladesh that the private and public sectors invest in institutions like BYLC who are uniquely positioned to build the capabilities and skills of the next generation”, said Mahfuz Anam, Editor, The Daily Star.
“The government alone cannot solve the complex challenges facing the youth of Bangladesh. Multi-sectoral partnerships will be essential to transform youth development in Bangladesh,” said Md. Ashadul Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports.
One of the core challenges in the Bangladeshi job market is that youth unemployment co-exists with widespread recruiting challenges faced by employers nationwide. There is a glaring lack of effective career guidance services available to university students in Bangladesh today, which creates a significant disconnect between what students are learning in the classroom and what employers expect in the workplace. BYLC’s Office of Professional Development (OPD) aims to address this gap by creating opportunities for continuous leadership and career development for university students and young professionals.
The discussion was moderated by Ejaj Ahmad, Founder and President, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center. Guests at the roundtable included Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, Managing Director and CEO, Robi Axiata Limited, Abrar A. Anwar, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh, Tanvir Haider Chaudhury, CEO, Kazi Food Industries Limited, Farzana Chowdhury, Managing Director and CEO, Green Delta Insurance Company Limited, Leoni Cuelenaere, Ambassador to Bangladesh, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Nabeel Ud Daulah, Managing Director, DIRD Group, Michael Foley, CEO, Grameenphone, Faruque Hassan, Managing Director, Giant Group and SVP, BGMEA, Rubana Huq, Managing Director, Mohammadi Group, Pial Islam, Managing Partner, pi Strategy Limited, Md. Sabur Khan, Chairman, Daffodil University, Sudipto Mukerjee, Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh, Asif Zahir, Managing Director, Zero Gravity Ventures Limited.