Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Skill development and vocational training aligned with the market demand is the key to ensuring better employability for Bangladeshi youth both in local and overseas job markets, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) strengthens public and private polytechnic institutions to improve quality of skills training and align curriculum with skills market demand.
Around 96,000 diploma students from 93 polytechnics have received stipends under the Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP).

The number of students receiving stipend have already surpassed the project target. The project also promotes female skills training and employability through technical and vocational education.

The stipend program initiated a universal coverage scheme for all the female diploma students in 2012.

The female beneficiary share has increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, while the female trainees in supported courses reached to 30 per cent against the target of 20 per cent, a World Bank project update said.

The selected polytechnic institutions reshuffled their management committees to include industry representatives in their decision making process.

The government has hired 1,141 contractual teachers in 49 public polytechnics, filling up 98 per cent of the vacancies in these institutions. The newly recruited teachers are receiving pedagogical and subject training at home and abroad.

The project has signed partnership agreement with Nanyang Polytechnic International, Singapore and for teacher’s training. About 65 per cent of the polytechnics established industrial partnerships for internships and job placement and provided job counselling to all students.  

The project is also assisting 33 polytechnics to implement their development plans and supporting 64 short-course training providers.
These short-course providers have trained 47,000 trainees in 38 trades. 34 per cent of the graduates got jobs within six months of training. 840 unskilled and semiskilled industry laborers have been trained through industry collaboration with the BGMEA of whom 88 per cent gained employment.

The project will provide training to around 10,000 laborers. More than 1700 trainees got job offers through meeting industry representatives at a job fair organized for the short course trainees in collaboration with CAMPE.

The project launched the Recognition of Prior learning (RPL), for the first time in the country in September 2014 aiming to assess the skills levels of the existing workforce in the informal economy and to certify their skills.

BBN/SSR/AD-17Mar15-2:14 pm (BST)