To wrestle with the uncertainties of these extraordinary times, the ICT division yesterday launched an interactive online training programme to give a boost to internet-based working culture, especially freelancing, which holds huge promise.
Bangladesh has the second largest online workforce in the world with 6.5 lakh freelancers and the government wants to take the sector forward, said Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister of the ICT division, while inaugurating the first public sector training programme that will be conducted online.
"The initiative will also help youths become self-dependent and immensely contribute to the development of the economy."
Under the programme, the ICT division will train 40,000 youths who have passed HSC exams, according to Palak.
Initially, the plan was to conduct training programmes physically across the country, but in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has decided to deliver training online.
"In the post-pandemic era, freelancing jobs will be in great demand as social distancing will be the new norm."
The government has a target to log in export earnings amounting to $5 billion from the ICT sector by 2025 and freelancing will contribute markedly to that end.
The project will also help the government materialise its plan to create 10 million new jobs in the ICT sector within the next five years, Palak added.
The ICT division has so far received 185,000 applications.
After an initial test, 40,000 will be selected and then divided into 15 batches, according to Akhtar Mamun, the project director.
The ICT division has designed a digital curriculum and selected 39 organisations to run it, targeting mostly graphics and web designing and digital marketing.
A total of 11,000 youths will be trained in graphics designing, 14,000 in web designing and the rest in digital marketing.
Students can choose Google Meet or Zoom to take part in the training that will run for 50 days. All the course materials will be uploaded such that anybody can access those.
"This was a massive decision to conduct such a training programme online," said NM Ziaul Alam, secretary to the ICT division.
The government is now running its regular meetings on online platforms, which has given it the confidence to run the training programme online, he added.
Apart from this project, the ICT division has earlier conducted many ICT-related training programmes to create a digital workforce, officials said.