What the papers say

Machines Oust Workers

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 28th December, 2017.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

…we hear about an increase in the overseas employment of Bangladeshi workers. Affirmation from inspection agencies and favorable exchange rate make garment exporters optimistic. But jobs are already being lost to machines in garments industries. And school banking receives a hugely positive response.

Business, Investments, Trade and Growth

Garment exporters are optimistic about doing good business in the upcoming year after receiving thumbs-up from the Accord and Alliance, the two foreign factory inspection agencies.  The current US dollar-Taka exchange rate has also been favorable for the exporters. According to  Export Promotion Bureau, Bangladesh exported garment items worth $26 billion in the first 11 months of 2017.

Education and the Labour Market

At a roundtable discussion on “Social dialogue, gender-based violence and living wage in RMG”, analysts spoke about the verbal and physical abuse faced by female garment workers in Bangladesh. Three quarters of female workers face verbal abuse while twenty percent face physical abuse.

The total number of workers employed in the garment sector has declined by around 1 million over the last five years. This is due to the quick mechanization of production, closure of some non-compliant factories and the emergence of other high-potential sectors.

In 2013, the total number of garment workers in Bangladesh was around 4 million but this figure has fallen to  around 3 million now. A single machine can replace at least 10 workers in a factory.

With a boom in the overseas job market, the number of Bangladeshi workers going abroad for employment has increased.  The number is likely to exceed one million by the end of this year.  According to the Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister, 990,728 Bangladeshi workers had already gone abroad according to the most recent figures of December 21st.

Analysts spoke about the importance of workers’ skill development to attain the Sustainable Development Goals at the roundtable discussion on “Increasing productivity through decent work and favourable working condition”. This was organized by BRAC’s Skill Development Programme in Dhaka on Sunday.

Financial Services

School banking is progressively getting a huge response among students across the country. Deposits  crossed 12 billion Taka at the end of September 2017. Bangladesh Bank had launched the programme in November 2010 to build the habit of savings among school students. Dutch-Bangla Bank, Islami Bank Bangladesh, Eastern Bank, United Commercial Bank and Rupali Bank are the five banks that drew most of the deposits from the students.

Other News

The Daily Star presented the second ICT Awards in six categories at a gala event at Le Méridien Dhaka on Wednesday recognizing and celebrating extraordinary achievements in the field of information and communication technology.

And that’s the news for the week ending 28th December, 2017.