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RMG sector suffers from paucity of skilled labors
Jun '08
Readymade Garment (RMG) industry of Bangladesh, which accounts for 75 percent of the country's total exports, is presently under immense pressure of insufficient skilled labors. The problem is really serious as it is likely to hamper future growth.

A survey report shows that currently, the country is facing a shortage of 25 percent in the number of skilled workers and it will take a number of years before institutions for training or generating new human resources can be established.

Two of the primary organizations in the country, namely, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have also expressed concern over this situation.

Factory owners believe that paucity of skilled labors in the country can be due to various reasons. While adept women workers, who account for 80 percent of RMG work force, quit their jobs after marriage, the skilled men use their strong experience records to go abroad.

Lack of social recognition of garment jobs, low wages and poor working conditions have also been some of the major factors driving out workers to explore better job opportunities.

Ironically, while the garment industry is growing at a rapid pace, factory owners are complaining of insufficient manpower. In the first 10 months of this fiscal year till April, exports from this sector rose by 15 percent over last year.

Manufacturing enterprises like Noman Group, Standard Group, Nassa Goup and Viyellatex Group have announced major recruitments to meet their export targets. All of them have persistently complained about not having enough man power for operating the factories.

As of now, BGMEA and BKMEA have set up a few training centers to ensure that, there is no dearth of skilled labor to restrict the growth of the RMG industry of Bangladesh in the future.

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