Awareness campaign to rebrand technical education in Sylhet, Bangladesh

International Labour Organization’s European Union-funded Skills 21 project provides technical assistance to the Directorate of Technical Education to formulate the campaign strategy, action plan and implementation to rebrand TVET in Bangladesh

Zeejaj-e-Rasul Chowdhury a graphic design student won the first prize in the skills competition during Campus Day © ILO
Dhaka (ILO News) - The Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) commenced an awareness campaign to position TVET as the first choice for prospective students to complete a qualification in higher education and training and to demystify the mindsets of those that regard TVET programmes as inferior.

International Labour Organization’s European Union-funded Skills 21 project provides technical assistance to formulate the campaign strategy, action plan and implementation. Initially, the campaign ‘Karigori Dokkhotaey Shamriddhi’ will be implemented in Skills 21 partner TVET institutes in different locations of Bangladesh. Eventually, DTE will replicate this in all government TVET institutes.

Sylhet Technical School and College (STSC) successfully ran this three-dimensional campaign: community mobilisation, institute level activities, and digital platform. Different activities conducted at the community level includes parents meeting, hotspot activities, community Protibha fairs, etc. These activities gathered thousands of audiences and informed them about TVET. The posters, leaflets, stickers, information boards and announcements also reached out to another 150,000 audiences.

The TMED Secretary and DG DTE are observing the skills show of refrigeration and air conditioning occupation © ILO

On 31 October, the Sylhet TSC organised a campus open day part of the TVET awareness campaign, where they organised a Karigori Protibha Mela. The Secretary of Technical and Madrasah Education Division (TMED) of the Ministry of Education inaugurated the fair. ILO Country Director and the Deputy Commissioner of Sylhet were also present at the event.

The fair was open to all the community people. Current students showcased their skills, and the successful graduates told their stories to the audiences to inspire others in TVET education. The career and job placement cell officer of the institute informed the career paths from TVET education. The local industry representatives came to the fair, collected CVs, and took interviews and written tests to place them in the jobs.

Md. Aminul Islam Khan, Secretary TMED, said, “Bangladesh needs a skilled labour force to adapt the “new normal” and recover the economy. This requires a cadre of young people who should be trained to take up future unknown jobs and be ready to embrace innovation and technologies.”

“Therefore, we need to modernise the TVET system, upskill the workforce and let people know about TVET. This is the beginning; the institutes should continue this campaign engaging the community and the local government,” he added.

Tuomo Poutiainen, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh, said, “This campaign is an excellent start to further promote quality TVET. I hope this campaign will mobilise employers to engage in TVET through dual training systems and apprenticeships. Local efforts like what we see today are needed and we hope to see Sylhet TSC continue this campaign every year”.

The campaign tools and channels were designed to reach audiences with relevant messages through the most suitable media to inform them about skilling opportunities and realise the benefits of better employment resulting in enhanced earnings and improved living.

The subsequent field level activation will take place in Gaibandha in November and Kaptai in December. This campaign will bring awareness among young prospective students who will be passed grade eight and those who have completed their Senior Certificate but are still not in Employment, Education or Training to seize opportunities to acquire post-school qualifications offers at TVET institutes.

Skills 21 project is a joint initiative of the Government of Bangladesh and the International Labour Organization (ILO), funded by the European Union. The project seeks to increase productivity and employment opportunities through an environmentally conscious, inclusive, demand-driven, and interlinked skills development system responding to the needs of the labour market.