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ILO’s Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity (B-SEP) Project comes to a close
This landmark project was launched in 2014 with an aim to strengthen the skills system in Bangladesh and thereby increase employment, productivity and economic growth. The project was implemented by the Government of Bangladesh with the support of the ILO and funding from Canadian Government.
Distinguished guests at the closing ceremony of B-SEP project ILO Dhaka and the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) jointly organized the closing ceremony of Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity (B-SEP) project today. This landmark project was launched in 2014 with an aim to strengthen the skills system in Bangladesh and thereby increase employment, productivity and economic growth. The project was implemented by the Government of Bangladesh with the support of the ILO and funding from Canadian Government. The B-SEP Project tackled the challenges facing the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector in the country. It developed capacities of both institutes and the industry and created linkages between them in order to match supply and demand for skilled workers. By providing training and job placement opportunities for disadvantaged groups such as women, indigenous people and persons with disabilities, the project also succeeded in promoting social inclusion. These achievements were presented at the closing ceremony of the project where government, industry and TVET institute representatives discussed how the successful practices can be replicated in future to further reinforce the national skills development system in Bangladesh. Speaking at the event, the Hon’ble Minister of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Dipu Moni appreciated ILO’s continuous support to the Bangladesh Government to expand the reform in the country’s skills system. She said, “Transforming the skills system and thus creating more employment opportunities is a key policy of our government. We plan to integrate some of the job focused skills-delivery practices which were successfully established by the B-SEP project. These include public-private partnership, disability inclusion and employment support services for job seekers.” Benoit Préfontaine, High Commissioner of Canada in Bangladesh said, “We are extremely pleased with the achievements and outcome of the ILO’s B-SEP project. I would particularly mention here the project’s initiatives to improve access of women to non-traditional jobs and the support provided to develop green entrepreneurs. The Canadian government is interested to continue its partnership with the Government of Bangladesh and the ILO in these two areas.” The Country Director of ILO Bangladesh, Tuomo Poutiainen said, “The ultimate goal of any project is to leave a legacy and a sustainable model in place. We believe that B-SEP - thanks to the endless support from the government and industry partners – has done just that.” By promoting market-driven capacity building, the B-SEP project provided better employment opportunities for young men and women, especially marginalized women in remote areas, while meeting the changing needs of the industry. This, in turn, has contributed to the country’s decent work and sustainable economic development goals and had a positive effect on poverty reduction. Among its many milestones, the key stakeholders identified apprenticeship, public-private partnership, employment support services, Start and Improve Your Business Foundation and disability inclusion as Good Practices that can now be integrated and replicated by other projects and potentially in other countries to strengthen skills system and improve economic growth.