Vacant posts should be filled immediately

Job seekers gathered at various educational institutions in the capital to taker tests on Friday and Saturday this week. Due to coronavirus, such a scene has not been seen in a year and a half. Taking tests does not necessarily mean getting jobs. There are at least 30 to 40 or more candidates contesting for one post. Fortunately the recruitment process has started in the public and private sectors.

The job market in Bangladesh is already very narrow. Every year, 2.2 million youths are entering the job market, of which only 600,000 to 700,000 people are employed by government and private organisations.

A quarter of the remaining large number of youths migrate abroad in quest of their fortune. People in power often advise us to be an entrepreneurs rather than wait for a job. But they do not take initiative to eliminate the social, political and environmental barriers to entrepreneurship.

Due to the pandemic, the recruitment process was closed in both public and private sectors. Business was stalled. As a result, far from making new appointments, many firms laid off their existing workers. If economic activities get back normal, it is expected that the recruitment process in the private sector will also get a boost. Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) exams were also halted due to corona.

Earlier, the Public Service Commission (PSC) used to try to complete one set of BCS exams a year. Three tests are now held up due to corona. In this context, the PSC has decided to take the preliminary examination of the 43rd BCS on 29 October. It is also important to fix the dates of 40th and 41st BCS exams quickly. This will reduce the uncertainty of the candidates.

The government has given some concessions in terms of age of job seekers. Those who turned 30 on 25 March, 2020 will be able to apply for jobs until 31 December this year. Job seekers demanded the government increase the age limit for two years for all. According to a report titled 'Statistics of Civil Officers and Staff, 2020' last June, there are 380,955 vacancies in the government service in the country.

Of these, the highest number of vacancies in the third class is 200,000. A total of 1.5 million (1,504,913) people are working in the government service against the total approved 1.8 million (1,885,868) posts.

According to a recent World Bank survey, 66 per cent of youths with a Bachelor's or Master's degree from a national university are unemployed. The rate of employment of young people who have passed from other public universities is a bit higher but not very satisfying. According to the Economic Intelligence Unit, the rate of educated unemployed is the highest in Bangladesh.

What is the way out of this crisis? Our education system is not up-to-date. In that case, slight changes in the superstructure will not work. A radical change in education is needed. The new curriculum has some indications of that. Second, employment-oriented development strategies must be adopted, rather than growth-oriented development.

If the government really wants to alleviate the problem of unemployment, it should fill the vacancies immediately.