Youth unemployment, growth of informal sector may hinder SDG 8 achievement, experts say

FE Online Report | Saturday, 17 April 2021

Country’s youth unemployment, rising employment in the informal sector and child labour, which are worsening in the pandemic, may restrain the achievement of SDG 8 and economic growth by 2030.

To this effect, identifying the gaps, building community-based institutions for education and skill development, and incorporating public-private partnership and NGOs are required to address the challenges.

Professor Dr Md Salim Uddin, Department of Accounting of the University of Chittagong came up with his view and recommendation at a webinar styled SDG-8 "Decent Work and Economic Growth" while presenting a keynote paper.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 8 is about ‘decent work and economic growth’ and is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which were established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

SDG Youth Forum arranged the programme, chaired by Farhana Bari, coordinator, Dhaka Team of SDG Youth Forum.

Noman Ullah Bahar, president, SDG Youth Forum, gave the opening remarks while Dr Rubina Husain, secretary general, Zonta International, also spoke at the event.

Speaking at the webinar, Professor Dr Salim Uddin said around 30 per cent of the country’s youth population, who are between 15–24-year-old, are not in education, employment or training (NEET) which will enhance the country’s challenges to achieve the SDG 8.

This section of youths who are not employed and not involved in education or training (NEET) is basically the potential entrants to the labour market, professor Salim insists.

High NEET rate and lower youth employment rate indicates lower job opportunities in the labour market, he points out.

The higher percentage of NEET for young women indicates their much greater involvement in household duties, and the presence of barriers preventing female participation in the labour market, Mr Salim mentioned.

The informal sectors lack legal securities and employment benefits as well as include activities that are unregulated and considered less productive, he says.

The proportion of informal employment in non-agriculture sectors, including industry and services, has increased slightly from 77.5 per cent in 2015 to 78 per cent in 2016, he added.

The webinar was attended by individuals associated with various stakeholders related to the topic.


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