Growth of the economy and employment opportunities in Bangladesh is restricted, among others, by skills shortages. The current skills supply systems do not meet the skill demand because of inadequate throughput and a mismatch between skills supply and skills demand. The current production of skilled workers is not focused on industry demand and is segmented and poorly coordinated. The teacher/instructor training program produces a small number of graduates with inadequate pedagogical and technical skills. The process of selection and deployment of instructors in the public skill training institutions is slow and inefficient. The informal nature of the employment market in Bangladesh, which covers 87.5 percent of employment (LFS 2010), has neither encouraged industry to significantly engage in formal training, apprenticeship or employment nor inspired potential workers to explore formal training so as to seek employment in domestic and external markets. As a result, the role of the industry sectors has remained largely marginal. This will require building networks with a variety of industry sectors, chambers and business houses around the country; to motivate and engage them. In this respect, utilizing the services of private sector think tanks and organizations which enjoy solid linkages and the confidence of the private sector and industry will therefore be essential for building and sustaining any such partnership between the industry sectors, training institutions, potential employees and the government. The ministries involved in the project will be encouraged to partner with chambers and think tanks to achieve the required employment outcomes of their training programmes.

A National Skills Development Policy (NSDP) was approved by the Government in January 2012. The NSDP emphasizes the imperative need to improve the supply of human resources with necessary skills and attitudes to meet the industry demand for skilled workers. The NSDP emphasizes the importance of better alignment of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) with skills development systems and industry skills demand. The NSDP also promotes changes in TVET system management, pedagogy, and certification as well as expansion of the system, along with effective planning, coordination and monitoring of skills development activities by ministries, development partners, industry, public and private training providers. The ILO-EC TVET Reform Project has supported significant reforms on many fronts including national qualifications and quality assurance arrangements.

Government in the meantime has established the National Technical Vocational Qualifications Framework (NTVQF) and the National Skills Quality Assurance System (NSQAS) and associated documentation of regulations and manuals as per recommendation of NSDP. These developments meet some of the core changes within the skills production system that are necessary to meet the industry demand of the supply of skilled workers.

Objective of the Project: The overall objective of the project is to qualitatively and quantitatively expand the skilling capacity of identified public and private training providers by establishing and operationalizing a responsive skill eco system and delivery mechanism through a combination of well-defined set of funding triggers and targeted capacity support. Specifically, the objectives are to:

  1. improve job focused skills along with up-skilling of the existing workforce to enhance productivity and growth of industry sectors
  2. impart skills training linked to gainful employment or self-employment through PKSF partners and their livelihood programs;
  3. develop a network of training providers that are endorsed by industry for providing excellence of training to meet the skills needs of employers;
  4. establish and implement a strategy to address the special needs of groups specified in the NSDP and ensure their participation in SEIP programs.
  5. implement a vocational trainer development program for trainers and assessors and a management leadership program for training provider management reflecting NSDP requirements;
  6. Strengthen capacity of BTEB in approving training providers registration process, course accreditation and monitoring quality assurance and implementation procedures of training providers.
  7. support the training providers for capacity development to ensure quality training delivery mechanism.
  8. establish and institutionalize a credible recognition of prior earning (RPL) system;
  9. support the NSDC and key government ministries to strengthen institutional arrangements to enable the TVET system to meet policy objectives within a coherent skills development framework; and
  10. support the establishment and operationalization of a National Human Resources Development Fund (NHRDF).

The project will have four components: 

  1. Market response inclusive skills training delivered
  2. Quality Assurance System strengthened
  3. Institutions strengthened, and
  4. Effective program management.

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