Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Skills development and vocational education must be aligned with market demand for better employment opportunities in both local and overseas job market.

The Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) is working to strengthen selected public and private polytechnic institutions to improve training quality and employability of trainees, including those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

35,670 diploma students from the 93 polytechnics institutions have received stipends, a World Bank project update said on Sunday, adding that among these eligible institutions, 43 are public and remaining 50 are private.

The second batch of stipend support for diploma level technical education will be provided by April 2012. The STEP project has selected 22 polytechnics for Institutional Development Grants and 46 short-courses training providers for providing training to around 70,000 unskilled and semi-skilled labors.  

Recently, a World Bank team reviewed the progress of the STEP project along with the Government counterparts. The World Bank team stressed on timely disbursement of stipends and completion of short training courses by eligible polytechnics.

The World Bank is supporting the government to enhance capacity of the vocational education and training for developing skilled labor force through the STEP Project. The World Bank has approved the $79 million STEP project on June 2010.

BBN/SSR/AD-15Jan12-12:56 pm (BST)