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New app has potential to transform youth unemployment in Bangladesh

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BRAC has been working to address youth unemployment for decades; Kormo, a new app developed in partnership with Google’s Area 120 incubator can change the employment landscape for job seekers and employers.


DHAKA, BANGLADESH — On September 27, 2018, the announcement of a new app spread across Bangladesh. Kormo, meaning “work”, seeks to close the employment gap and equip a new generation for the workforce. A digital job marketplace and career development platform, it connects employers and job seekers. Kormo is focused on the world’s “next billion users” of technology and began its operations in Bangladesh.


For the last two years, BRAC has been working closely with Kormo, a product developed inside of Google’s Area 120 incubator, as a local partner to assess the youth unemployment landscape and identify gaps an app like Kormo can uniquely fill. Youth unemployment is currently one of the most significant global challenges. In developing countries, youth unemployment rates in the 20 percent range are common; many are as high as 50 percent. Challenges in addressing it are rife. Which skills are the most lucrative for young people? How can a young woman overcome gender barriers when navigating the job market? How do you build a resume when you’re just starting out?


Kormo has the potential to significantly transform the workforce in Bangladesh and beyond. Data collected through the app can assist in tracking market trends, namely for high-demand skills and salary ranges. For organizations like BRAC, whose Skills Development Program is currently training and preparing thousands of youth for the workforce, this insight is invaluable. BRAC can tailor programs to fit demand across industries — whether hospitality, retail, or graphic design. In addition, such information can help job seekers set clear salary expectations for new positions. For disadvantaged populations, like women, this can be pivotal in helping them receive equal pay.


Employers, especially those with a large workforce, often have a difficult time sifting through CVs (resumes) and assessing candidates against their competitors. Kormo enables job seekers to build a CV on the platform listing their past work; it can also include references verifying their abilities. In industries where workers don’t receive contracts and lack a mechanism to validate their work experience, easily communicating this with employers could become a game-changer.


Understanding job trajectory will also be necessary to address high youth unemployment in Bangladesh and beyond. Organizations dedicated to preparing youth for the workforce still struggle to understand which hard and soft skills will best prepare young people for fulfilling careers. By working with the Kormo team at Google, BRAC aims to improve its understanding of long-term employment trends for program participants, which will inform how it helps youth prepare for their futures. This will ensure young people have the skills they need to adapt to changing industry trends.


To find out more information about Kormo visit:

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