# 3.80 lakh posts of govt jobs lie vacant
# Frustration grips job seekers over age barEmployment has dropped significantly in both public and private sectors in the country as most of new recruitments have remained stalled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A large number of job seekers are now passing a hard time as they are worried about their future employment and their growing age. To add to their woes, job openings seem to be shrinking.
Educational institutions have remained closed since March 17 last year as part of preventive measures to fight coronavirus, leaving undergraduate and postgraduate students in trouble for around one and a half years.
Due to the postponement of many job exams, postgraduates are not getting to see enough jobs while undergraduates cannot apply for jobs without completing their final exams due to the pandemic.
Talking to the Daily Sun, AKM Fahim Mashroor, chief executive officer (CEO) of bdjobs.com, said, “The coronavirus pandemic has put adverse impacts on the private job market as around 50 percent job advertisements have been reduced amid the situation.”
“The situation of the job market was in very bad condition last year, but the condition is now gradually improving and we are hopeful that it will again return to earlier position soon,” he added.Several recruitment tests of Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) have been postponed due to the pandemic. The circular for the 40th BCS was published in August 2018, but the recruitment process is yet to be completed as the viva voce of 40th BCS has remained pending.
The PSC also suspended the viva examination of the 42nd BCS (special) while the 43rd BCS preliminary examination scheduled to be held on August 6 deferred to October 15 amid the situation.
Many government agencies, including Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), Bangladesh Bank, West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd, Education engineering department (EED), Titas gas, Sylhet gas fields Ltd, Bridge division, Railway Ministry, disaster management and relief ministry postponed appointment exams due to the pandemic.
A written exam to appoint against 4,000 posts under the Directorate of secondary and higher education (DSHE) has also been postponed due to the pandemic while around 54,000 teachers’ appointment under the NTRCA is also halted for a long time.
Rashed Hossain, who completed his post-graduation from Jagannath University in 2020, applied for at least 10 jobs last year, but no exam is yet to be held.
He said, “I’ am passing a very bad time as all job exams have been postponed while now new job circulars are rare due to the pandemic situation.”
“I’m lucky as I can apply for two more years for job, but many of my fellows who are studying with me at public library, are now frustrated and broken down as their age for jobs is nearing to end and some of them crossed the age limit,” Rashed said.
According to the public administration ministry, there are 15,04,913 people working in the government service against 18,85,868 approved posts. There are a total of 380,955 posts of government job are lying vacant.
A total of 5,068 out of 17,739 posts are lying vacant at under different ministries and divisions, 2,33,336 posts out of 14,9626 posts are vacant at agencies and different directorates.
Apart from this, 14,851 posts out of 47,033 posts are lying vacant in the posts of divisional commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNO) and assistant commissioner (land).
Despite the number of vacant posts are nearly 4 lakh in the government service but the recruitment is almost stalled due to the pandemic.
Abdul Kuddus completed his graduate degree from Govt Titumir College in 2020, but it’s a long road ahead for his to get the job he wants. The jobseeker is frustrated over the suspension of the hiring process amid the coronavirus situation that upended lives and livelihoods across the country.
“I think we are the ones facing the worst situation. Our results are out already, but there are no employment opportunities,” he said.
Another jobseeker, Nasir Hossain, who completed his post graduation from Dhaka College, lost his interest in government jobs and started looking for jobs with lower salaries in the private sector instead. Nasir took the decision because of the uncertainty regarding the age limit to apply for those jobs, he said.
“We get older by the time we enter the market to bag a job, because of the academic session jam. On top of that, the coronavirus pandemic has wasted more time. Now I am applying for the jobs I have never thought to look for,” he said.
In Bangladesh, the cut-off age to apply for government jobs is 30 years. In September last year, the government extended the age limit for job seekers as their education was affected by the pandemic.
As per the decision, this enabled those crossing the age of 30 on March 25, 2020 to apply for jobs. This year the government is yet to take any decision on the issue.
Tanvir Hossain, one of the organisers of a platform which has been demanding increase of age limit to 32 for entering government service, urged the government to permanently raise the age limit to 32 years from the existing 30 years for entry into the government service for the loss due to Covid-19.
He said around 1.5 lakh job seekers have already lost their eligibility to apply for government jobs while the number of advertisements for recruitment has dropped to 13 percent from 87 percent during the pandemic.
The government has given incentives to various sectors affected by Covid-19. “We also want the age limit to go up to 32 years permanently as an incentive,” he added.