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Gaps and weaknesses on youth employment highlighted at Bangladesh consultation

Ahead of the Youth Employment Forum, the ILO is holding consultation events in more than 40 countries around the world to hear young people’s views on the alarming jobs crisis.

Press release | 19 April 2012

Dhaka (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization and the Bangladesh Youth and Sports Ministry hosted a National Conference on Youth Employment in Dhaka on 8 April 2012. The event brought together young people with government, employer and worker representatives to discuss the youth employment situation in the country.

Andre Bogui, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh, stressed the need for a strong partnership among the key stakeholders including the government, employers, workers, youth associations, development partners, NGOs and the media.

He said that youth aspirations for decent jobs, inclusive development policies and social justice triggered the surge in youth-led protests across the world.

Rushidan Islam Rahman, Research Director of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), noted that regular employment declined to 17 percent of total employment in 2010 from 20 percent in 2000.

“In addition, the rate of participation of the youth in the labour force declined from 78 percent in 2006 to 69 percent in 2010,” she said, citing a survey by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

Rushidan also said that young people with school education are facing problems entering the job market due to a lack in access to information related to job and training.

Kamran T Rahman, member of Bangladesh Employers Association, called upon the government to take target-oriented measures to create new jobs for the youth that will eventually help eliminate poverty.

“In addressing the problem of youth employment, the government needs to formulate and implement policies like introducing mandatory positions such as internship and apprenticeship in every organization to help young people take bigger responsibilities,” he said

Ahad Ali Sarkar, state minister for youth and sports, said the government is responding to the acute unemployment situation, especially the concern over youth employment, by creating new jobs in the manufacturing, farm and services sector.

"Now it is time to make a proper use of the increased labour force to accelerate the economic growth of the country," Ali Sakar added.

About one third of the Bangladesh’s population or more than 50 million people are youths.

45 per cent out of the total 75 million unemployed youth worldwide live in Asia and the Pacific. Young women and men are six times more likely to find themselves unemployed than adults.

The consultation in Dhaka is among 45 national events organized by the ILO around the world throughout March and April 2012 to hear young people’s views on the alarming youth employment situation.

For more information, contact the ILO Programme on Youth Employment at, or the ILO Department of Communication and Public Information on +4122/799-7912, or at