What the papers say

Low Wage Trap

A weekly round up of articles about employment, the labor market, skills training and workforce development. This week’s round up is drawn from The Daily Star. Here is the news for the week ending 17th November 2016.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…Malaysia revives recruitment of Bangladeshi workers. Expert examines the challenges of production costs, wages, and long work hours in Bangladesh’s garments factories. And Bangladesh once again ranks lowly on the latest competitiveness report.

Recruiting Online for Transparency

Malaysia will start hiring Bangladeshis to work in construction, manufacturing and service businesses. 

There are already around a qauarter of amillion Bangladeshis working in Malaysia.

We wrote about Bangladeshis working in Malaysia recently.

This time around Malaysia plans to recruit one and a half million Bangladeshis.

Applications will be managed online perhaps as a way to cut out recruitment brokers. Trade unions in Malaysia have voiced concerns about the undesirable role of these agents.

Higher Wages for Productivity

Workers put in 80 to 90 hours a week in some garments factories.

Owners are responding to the increasing demands of buyers in US and Europe. And they say that workers want the overtime to up their income.

But long hours make for tired and unproductive workers. And long hours are against Bangladesh’s Labour Act.

Workers don’t want overtime they just need higher wages.

So with buyers looking for lower prices and quicker delivery it seems to be an insurmountable problem.

But the manager of the Better Work Programme says productivity can be increased through training and better machinery.

And buyers should understand the capacity of a supplier before placing orders that can only be filled through excessive work hours.

The Better Work Programme is managed by the International Labour Organisation.

Bangladesh Economy Still Uncompetitive

This year Bangladesh ranks 106th out of 138 measured on the Global Competitiveness Index.

The country has been at about the same position for the last three years. India by comparison jumped to 39th place from 55th last year.

The Index measures the business environment on 12 factors that influence a country’s productivity and wealth.

The index covers infrastructure to labour market efficient, and from the sophistication of the financial markets to the quality of heath services and primary education.

The Global Competitiveness Index is published every year by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum.

And that’s all the news this week from The Daily Star.