Youth engagement in the planning of future of work needed

Government initiatives need to reflect demands of the youth on issues relating to the ‘future of work’ expressed representatives of governments at the panel discussion on the second day of Youth Policy Conclave 2020.

The policy makers need to address the impact of technological revolution, capital incentive growth, climate change and change in demographic composition which will immensely influence the future of work. As the youth are the ones who will face the disruption in the labor market, they need to raise their voice to have their interests reflected in policies.

In this context, ‘Youth Policy Conclave: Future of Work’, was held on 23rd-24th February 2020, providing  a platform for the young leaders from around the country to discuss the challenges and opportunities of future of work and produce a Youth Manifesto. At the panel discussion titled ‘Future of Work: Way forward’, the youth leaders shared the ‘Youth Manifesto’ with development partners from government, non government and international organizations.

Gerry Fox, Team Lead of PROKAS, explained the importance of understanding the complexity of the issue by taking a step back and zooming out to look into the bigger picture and then zooming in to find where to contribute. He also mentioned that changes can be brought into the economy if we can identify the incentives of policy makers.

Md. Ziauld Huq, Deputy  Secretary of Skill for Employment Investment Program, informed about the government’s program SEIP  aims to provide  800,000 skilled workforce to work in 10 sectors in Bangladesh by 2023. He pointed out that skill can ensure dignity as it leads to employment and earnings. He also invited youth leaders to share their Youth Manifesto to help the government take an inclusive approach in preparing for skill development.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Shah Ali Farhad pointed out that though the government is undertaking various programs to combat the future of work, the government realises that there is no single foolproof process. He stressed on the need for a national summit with a larger audience to highlight prospective youth on the future of work.

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During the discussion, S. M. Mahbub Alam, Director of National Skill Development Authority, highlighted the government’s initiative to establish coordinated training facilities for the workforce of Bangladesh which will provide standardised and globally recognised certification after completing the training. The curriculum of the training will be prepared based on demand driven skills, so that the workforce is better prepared for the ‘future of work’.

Resident Representative of FES Bangladesh, Tina Marie Blohm explained that it is very important to identify both challenges and opportunities in the process of bringing about change. To make the future of work more inclusive, we must look into various issues for example, gender equality, labor rights, higher education, early education.

Along with the government representatives, Development partners from international organisations welcomed youth participation in policy making and looked forward to reflecting  the Youth Manifesto into their own work.

25 young leaders of IID’s ‘Youth for Policy’ network from 18 different districts of Bangladesh took part in the Youth Policy Conclave 2020.  Syeed Ahamed , CEO of IID moderated the panel discussion.

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