Informal employment among Bangladeshs ITPs stands at 89.84%

Informal employment among Bangladesh's ITPs stands at 89.84%

A pressing need exists to create more productive employment opportunities among Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ITPs) in Bangladesh, a new survey has found. 

Creating relevant line ministries to undertake active labour market policies and programmes, to include job creation, and supporting the unemployed and under-employed through training and enterprise development, are all recommendations garnered from a survey carried out by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

It found that informal employment among ITPs stands at 89.84% compared to a national rural average of 87.5%, while the skill levels of the ITP employed population is "extremely poor". Additionally, only 2.63% of ITPs can be considered skilled workers, while over 80% have either no or very limited levels of skills training. 

However, unemployment is higher among tertiary graduates (2.04%) compared to those with no education (0.11%) indicating an inverse relationship between unemployment and education. ITP working age population accounts for 71.15% of total population compared to the national rural figure of 61%, with almost equal distribution in hilly and plain areas as well as by gender.

Naba Bikram Kishore Tripura, ministry secretary of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs, says the survey provides a foundation for the government's future development actions in these areas. "This is an important survey that provides a wealth of detailed, accurate and up-to-date data on the lives and employment of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples."

Gagan Rajbhandari, deputy director of ILO Bangladesh, adds that the skills and employability of ITP men and women in Bangladesh urgently needs to be enhanced. "Providing skills that link to decent work is an important step which will help lift many out of poverty."

The 'Skill and Employment Baseline Assessment of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Bangladesh' survey was carried out for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO). A consultation to share the survey results with stakeholders took place at BIDS in Dhaka today (10 August).