Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in Bangkok, Bangladesh’s a2i – Innovate for All announced its commitments to the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth (‘Decent Jobs for Youth’). Access to Information (a2i) is the flagship programme of the Bangladesh government’s digital agenda. The programme has now pledged to train 250,000 Bangladeshi youth on digital skills and to deliver 340,200 apprenticeships by 2023.

“Bangladesh is proud to be the first government in Asia and the Pacific to commit to the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and invites other governments to join,” said Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, a2i – Innovate for All, Government of Bangladesh, at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in Bangkok on 28 March during a side event on “Decent Jobs for Youth: Working together in Asia and the Pacific”. Decent Jobs for Youth is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together governments, social partners, the private sector, youth and civil society organizations to scale up action and impact on youth employment worldwide.

“Each year, more than two mn young Bangladeshi men and women enter the labour market, in desperate need of decent jobs and livelihoods,” said Tuomo Poutiainen, Country Director, ILO Bangladesh. “Our experience shows that supporting youth in their school-to-work transition, using industry-led apprenticeships and offering the latest digital skills training will help Bangladesh’s young people better prepare for the jobs of the 21st Century. We applaud this new partnership and look forward to working with the Government, employers’ organisations and young trainees to make it a long-term success.”

The commitments by a2i align with the priority for skills development in Bangladesh. a2i – Innovate for All of the Government of Bangladesh works with a whole-of-government approach by leveraging the rapid expansion of technologies to create the right environment for demand-driven skills development in Bangladesh. Following the training on multiple digital skills, the link to employment opportunities for trained youth will be facilitated by the government, the private sector, development partners and NGOs. The quality apprenticeship programme for young people requires key industrial partners to equip apprentices with practical, on-the-job skills.

The a2i programme’s commitments to Decent Jobs for Youth builds on a multi-sectorial partnership, with a2i as the main implementing partner, and support and investment coming from the private sector and other development partners. The focus on demand-driven skills is critical to meet the needs of local and international job markets, and to equip youth with the right skills for 21st century employment opportunities.