Freelancer training for 28,800 youth in 3yrs under new project

Irin Akter from Netrokona earns about USD 1,000 or approximately 110,000 from freelancing a month.Collected

The government has taken up a project involving Tk 3 billion to train about 28,800 youths in freelancing across the country in the next three years and half of these youths receiving training will be female.

The projected titled “Employment generation through freelancing training for educated youth job seekers in 48 districts,” will be implemented between January 2023 and December 2026.

There will be no training fees and each trainee will receive a daily allowance of Tk 500 under this project, which will be funded locally.

The project will be placed at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Another such project was undertaken in 2022. Once the new project is okayed, freelaner training will expand across the country and the Department of Youth Development under the Ministry of Youth and Sports will implement the project.

South Asian Network on Economic Modeling's (SANEM) executive director Selim Raihan told Prothom Alo it is a very good initiative, but past experience saw youth could not utilise the training received under the government management. This time there should be monitoring of the work undertaken by the youth after thetraining, he added.

How to get freelancing training

Two labs each equipped with 25 computers and high-speed internet will be set up in every district to provide the training. Twenty-five candidates will receive training at each lab and a total of 50 trainees will be in each batch. The applications will be called online. The education qualification will be a higher secondary certificate (HSC) and the age limit will be 18-35. Trainees will be selected through written and viva examinations.

Students will undergo a three-month training free of cost. Each trainee will receive an allowance of Tk 200 and a food allowance of Tk 300 daily.

A senior official of the Planning Commission’s Socio Economic Infrastructure Division told Prothom Alo that employment opportunities will be generated for youths through freelancing and this will increase jobs.

Experience from the pilot project

Previously, a three-year project was undertaken in 16 districts between July 2022 and June 2024 at an estimated cost of Tk 475 million. The new project will be implemented in the remaining 48 districts.

Currently, 823 people or 64 per cent of the trained people, who received training under the previous project, are earning money and 263 people or 21 per cent are employed in various jobs. These trained youths brought USD 407,000 or approximately Tk 5.17 billion in October 2023. A USD equals to Tk 110.

According to the 'World Trade Report 2023' by the World Trade Organization (WTO), Bangladesh contributes 14 per cent of the global freelancing community. About 1 million male and female are involved in freelancing in the country.

41pc youths inactive

According to the Report on Sample Vital Registration System (SVRS) 2022 of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), 40.67 per cent or 12.9 million youths aged between 15 and 24 years are inactive in Bangladesh. Among those, 18.59 per cent are male and 61.71 per cent are female, and they are not involved with studies or jobs or do not even receive any training.

There are currently 31.6 million people aged between 15 and 24, which is a little over 19 per cent of the total population, according to the Population and Housing Census 2022 of the BBS.

Economists and labour market experts said child marriage is one of the major reasons for girls to become inactive. Besides, both men and women have been increasingly inactive because of a lack of necessary skills, quality education and decent jobs, as well as social conditions.

This report appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Hasanul Banna