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Experts: Create skill-based labour force to meet 4IR challenges

  • Published at 01:27 pm August 12th, 2021
SME women female entrepreneur
A woman weaving a nakshi kantha Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

SME entrepreneurs should capitalize on the proper use of ICT

Experts on Thursday emphasized on the need to create a skilled labour force in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector to meet the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR.)

They made their remarks at a webinar titled “Prospects and Challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution: SME Perspective” organized by the SME Foundation.

Prof Md Masudur Rahman, chairperson of the SME Foundation, said that the SME sector has to build a skilled, capable and technological knowledge-based labour force to keep pace with 4IR.

“SME entrepreneurs should capitalize on the proper use of information and communication technology (ICT)," he also said.

Experts address a webinar on SMEs and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, on Thursday, August 12, 2021 COURTESY

Md Mafizur Rahman, managing director of the foundation, said that they are raising awareness about the importance of ICT among all the SMEs.

Speakers of the webinar also said that the 4IR will spread globally as the major elements of the revolution like intellectual and business opportunities cannot be confined to a specific geographical location. 

The utilization of raw materials, human resources, and time will create business opportunities by using the tools of production of goods and services. It will also ensure the quality of life and environmental protections, said the experts.

4IR will accelerate the employment opportunities by up-skilling, re-skilling and giving opportunities to the marginalized and differently abled. 

Also Read - Access to banks, consistent flow of funds key to boost SMEs

With the advent of technology, the cost of production and distribution of goods and services will be reduced at an unimaginable rate, because machines will help people as a result of 4IR, said the speakers.

Moreover, in order to take advantage of the opportunities of 4IR, the main goal must be to create skilled human resources suitable for it.

It is essential for the MSME entrepreneurs to create awareness about technology assimilation and skill development, they also said.

Tanvir Faisal, deputy manager of the SME Foundation, presented the keynote at the webinar, where he emphasized on technology modernization, acquisition of new technology, adaptation with technological changes, and application of updated technology.

He also said that 4IR will bring a positive change in the sector like new products, labour saving inventions, evolution of medicine science etc.

Also Read - 'SME Foundation needs to step up, assist more SMEs'

But it may also create overpopulation in cities, increase environment pollution, and can lead to environmental degradation, he warned.

So, preparation of a master plan, development of a national resource pool, and strengthening the key institutions with adequate infrastructure are needed, he added.

Farzana Khan, general manager of the SME Foundation, gave the welcome address. Habibur Rahman of A2I, Shamim Ahmed Dewan, chairman of the Department of Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering, Dhaka University, and Prof Sajal Chandra Banik of Mechanical Engineering of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology were also present as panelists.

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