What the papers say

Women and Machines

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 8 March 2018.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

… business ties between Vietnam and Bangladesh grow through investment and trade. A study suggests women garments workers are losing out to machines. And retired jute workers struggle for their retirement benefits.

Business, Investments, Trade and Growth

On a three-day official visit to Bangladesh, Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang spoke about his country’s ties with Bangladesh. Vietnam seeks closer cooperation with Bangladesh in areas of economy, trade, investment, agriculture, defence and security. Vietnam wants to invest in telecom, agriculture, IT, textile, oil and gas, infrastructure sectors of Bangladesh because of the country’s low-cost production facilities and large market. Bangladesh’s enormous social and economic development impressed the Vietnam President.

Both the countries signed three investment agreements. The countries will promote mutual trade and investment. Bangladesh has been importing woven fabrics in bulk quantity from Vietnam since the year 2011. By seeking investment from Vietnam, Bangladesh wants to narrow its trade balance.

Education and the Labour Market

The private think-tank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) presented their study at a seminar on “Ongoing Upgradation in RMG Enterprise: Results from a Survey” on 3 March in Dhaka. The president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) was present at the dialogue. The study reveals a fall in the ratio of female workers in the garment sector from 64 percent in 2015 to around 61 percent in 2016. This decline is due to automation, say the researchers.

The study was prepared by surveying 193 garment enterprises and 2,123 workers. The survey result shows the factory owners believe female workers cannot use modern machineries. They feel women are less capable in operating machines compared to men.

You can read the full Ongoing Upgradation in RMG Enterprises: Preliminary Results from a Survey here.

The wait for retirement benefits of over 5,700 retired jute employees continues. Under the labour law, all dues of workers are supposed to be cleared within 30 days. However, retired workers of the jute sector are still waiting while production of jute is rising as is the export of jute and jute goods.

Other News

A four-day model United Nations conference was held at Rajshahi University (RU) on 1 March. The theme was “Combating Inhumanity: Prolonging Global Peace”. A total of 300 students from various institutions from home and abroad participated. The university’s former vice-chancellor and the former Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK) formally inaugurated the conference.

The Office of Career Guidance and Placement (CGP) of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) organized a daylong job fair on Wednesday. In the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the university organized a big career fair. A total of 49 multinational and national companies and organizations participated in the job fair.

And that’s the news for the week ending 8 March 2018.