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Garments industry requires 3.6 million skilled workers by 2021

There will be a demand for about 3.6 million skilled workers in the garment industry by the year 2021, said a study. Another study tells total labor (skilled and unskilled) demand for RMG industry will be almost 6 million. The study was jointly done by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) and the Ministry of Finance. Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith has officially published the survey report titled ‘Labor Market and Skills Gap in Bangladesh (Macro and Micro Level Study)’ at the Secretariat on 23 July 2017 in Dhaka.

Figure: Labor demand in RMG Industry (figures in lakh) Source: BIDS /SEIP
Figure: Labor demand in RMG Industry (figures in lakh) Source: BIDS /SEIP

According to the survey, with the increase in the size of Bangladesh’s economy, there will be a need for 7 crore 31 lakh skilled workers in different sectors of the labor market by the year 2020.  Bangladesh only had 10.4% trained laborers in 2013 while the rest 89.6% workers were untrained.

The domestic skill laborer demand will be 72.41 million in 2020. Of which, the demand will be 2.91 million in agro-food sector, 4.42 million in construction and 5.98 million in RMG sector, according to the report.

Source: BIDS
Source: BIDS

Addressing the program, BIDS Director General (DG) KAS Murshid said, “We will fail to achieve the five to seven year’s growth target if we do not meet the demand of skilled laborers in the RMG, textile, construction and agro-food sectors by 2020.”

The readymade garment (RMG) industry lacks 119,479 skilled workers, 48,130 semi-skilled and 8,577 unskilled ones.  “In the current budget, we have taken up a project to create 500,000 skilled officers”, said Finance Minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith. “We will definitely increase this number in the future”, he added.

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