Component 4, which is responsible for “Workplace Learning & Productivity” aims at improved skills development resulting in enhanced productivity and competitiveness in key growth and export-oriented industries in the formal industrial sectors. In the first phase of the TVET Reform Project the component mainly pursued four result areas:
- Employers’ demand for higher skills raised
- Improved linkages between TVET and Enterprises
- Modern work practices introduced
- Learning at work supported
The TVET Reform Project aims to enhance productivity and improve competitiveness by bridging the current gap in Bangladesh between the supply of skilled workers and the increasing needs of the labour market. Enhanced productivity and competiveness relies on the strength of the relationships between TVET institutions and employers, which enable high quality, practical skill development and workplace learning. To develop and support these relationships, the key objectives of the Component 4 team have been as follows:
> Improve skills development resulting in enhanced productivity and competitiveness in key growth and export-oriented industries in the formal industrial sector
> Improve linkages between TVET and enterprises
> Introduce of modern work practices
> Support learning at work
> Apprenticeship system improved and strengthened
To decide the industry sectors which the TVET Reform Project would focus on, the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies were commissioned to map the economy and identify the key growth and export-oriented industry sectors and their demand for skills. Based on this, four priority industrial sectors (IT, Transport Equipment, Leather and Food Processing) were selected. Tourism and Hospitality was also added later.
A training needs analysis was then conducted to identify key areas which needed improvement; these areas included productivity, management, supervision, train-the-trainer and leadership development. After further sector studies, training sessions on enhancing workplace skill and productivity were tailored; just in the 2008-2009 period they were delivered to over 500 representatives from the public and private sectors.
A number of key industry stakeholders and local TVET practitioners then took part in regional fellowships which showcased effective working examples of different aspects of TVET in regional countries.
Industry Skills Councils were created in each of the priority sectors, bringing together the representatives of different associations and key stakeholders to discuss sector development issues and provide guidance to the TVET Reform Project. It was also ensured that employers and workers contributing had direct input into the national TVET policy development committee, skills standards drafting committees and the qualifications development committees.
Current and future activities
Industry-driven Centers of Excellence have been established by the Agro Food and Leather Industry Skills Councils. The Centre of Excellence for Leather has been particularly active, not only in implementing apprenticeship programs for machine operators and trainee supervisors but also in recently signing an MOU with USAID which provides the financial and technical assistance to train 1000 individuals as well as help to build its capacity to become operational and eventually self-sustaining.
Short cost-shared training courses in response to industry needs are continuing to be provided, with a focus on instructor/trainer training, apprenticeship supervision training and training in how to recognize and assess prior learning. Discussions are continuing with employers to encourage recognition of skill development as a business growth strategy and including NTVQF qualifications as part of human resources strategies.
To specifically address productivity, identified by industry as the most significant barrier to improving competitiveness, the KAIZEN high productivity development program is currently being piloted in 10 companies through a partnership with the National Productivity Organisation, Tatka Food & Feed Industries Ltd is the final of the ten companies selected to sign an MOU to pilot the program and look forward to the benefits of increased productivity.