The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has now become a buzzword, but still, most people are not very aware of how this new digital landscape will have a significant impact on their daily life. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Virtual Reality, Biotechnology, Blockchain, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things are taking the place of humans in different sectors. However, the successful implementation of these modern technologies in a particular country depends on the cultures, norms, value systems, political and economic capacity of the country. Many scholars have predicted that the quality and productivity of industry products are enhanced by the successful transformation of automation under the 4IR. The volume of work and jobs will expand with the invention and development of various new technologies such as robotics, nanotechnology, and the automation process. According to the World Economic Forum, automation will substitute for 800 million unskilled workers worldwide by 2030. To cope with the technologies of the 4IR, both developed and developing countries will face serious challenges. The developed nations perhaps face less risk than developing nations because of their advanced technologies and skilled human resources. But due to a lack of skilled human resources, large-scale investment, modern infrastructure, unstable political culture, and ineffective public policy, developing countries are lagging in the global market. South Asian developing countries such as India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are also moving towards 4IR. They are trying to adopt innovations of the 4IR to upgrade their local industries.

Gradually Bangladesh is emerging as one of the fastest-growing economic powers in South Asia with notable progress in many fields. If Bangladesh can sustain this development rate, it is expected that Bangladesh will leave the Least Developed Country (LDC) category not later than 2024. Differences in automation potential between countries will depend on the structure of economies, the relative level of wages, and the size, and dynamics of the workforce. Also, new jobs will arise from technologies that are yet to be available. Thus, automation will affect all jobs to varying degrees: But not all jobs are at risk of being fully automated.

Technical education Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is the master key for the socioeconomic development of a country. The graduates of TVET are considered major as the key change-makers in the labour market. For global competitiveness, TVET graduates should have 21st-century skills as well as the ability to adopt and adapt to the disruption of Industrial Revolution 4.0. Without this ability in the near future, no one will get jobs or sustain in the job market for a longer period of time. Poor quality in TVET can lead us to produce poor products and services and dissatisfied the customers. Economic development activities under SDGs in developing and developed countries need to be a tag on balancing between the needs of humanity as well as protecting the planet, which is now looming as a big question for nations and shaking us continuously. The disruptive new models of Industry 4.0 will constantly expand opportunities for production and improvement of businesses.

The question is how will IR 4.0 affect sustainable development and will it manage to put humanity’s future in the spotlight? A report by the International Labour Organization estimates that automation will replace the jobs of 137 million people in Southeast Asia within the next 20 years. TVET is widely recognized as a vital driving force for the socio-economic growth and technical development of nations. Therefore, in order to ensure the quality of the TVET, first and foremost, countries need to address the issue of continued and improved training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, as well as investment in Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). Many countries like Bangladesh have taken the initiative to expand and focus on these areas over the past several years, yet continued efforts are needed to expand existing facilities and improve human resource and management capacity. However, creative problem-solving, people management, and social intelligence remain significant bottlenecks to machine learning and artificial intelligence. This means that ‘soft’ skills (i.e. transversal competencies or 21st-century skills) will increase in value as these fields mature. Therefore, for policymakers, bridging critical thinking and problem-solving with technology inclusive entrepreneurship programs may be positioned to generate the kinds of intuitive thinkers that understand the future