Bangladesh needs to properly utilise its youth population now as the country's demographic dividend is fast waning, said a human resources expert yesterday.
By 2040, the demographic dividend will cease to exist as the number of aged people will increase, said Md Musharrof Hossain, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Human Resource Organizations.
So the country's young people need to be trained properly with the latest technologies so that they can be utilised for the country, he said.
The government allocated Tk 200crore for making young people skilled but a big gap exists between the education system and job market expectations for which most educated youth cannot be turned into human capital, he said.
For instance, Covid-19 was identified at Wuhan but China's business was not that affected and recovered faster compared to that in other countries for the presence of special kinds of human resources who could manage the fallouts, he said.
China was able to create a corporate culture with special human resources, he said while giving a virtual keynote presentation on "Human Capital - A Source of Competitive Advantage" organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham).
Bangladesh's universities churn out 22,000 computer science and engineering graduates every year, said Syed Almas Kabir, president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services.
But not all are skilled, he said, adding that for that they need three to six months' training.
This needs to be incorporated in the academic curriculum to save time, he said.
Bangladesh's human resources can not still be termed human capital because the education system is still traditional, he added.
Almost 68 per cent of Bangladesh's population was between the ages of 15 and 64 years, which is considered the working age, said AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed.
"Human capital is one of the key drivers of corporate success and sustained competitive advantage. The value of the knowledge and skills that employees and stakeholders collectively bring to a company is the business' human capital," he said.
Bangladesh sees some 98 per cent of its children get enrolled at the elementary level but there was still room for improving the education quality, said JoAnne Wagner, deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Bangladesh.
The primary curriculum focuses some 14 per cent on technical education for the creation of skilled manpower, pointed out Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun.
Former AmCham presidents Aftab ul Islam and Md Nurul Islam, exporters and businesspeople were present.