CAD $19.5 million ILO project launched to enhance capacity of workforce in key industries in Bangladesh

‘Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity (B-SEP) Project’ is a five year long initiative of the Government of Bangladesh funded by the Government of Canada and implemented by the ILO.

Press release | 15 May 2014
DHAKA – The Government of Bangladesh and the International Labour Organization have launched a major initiative to achieve the goal of building a better trained and qualified workforce for key industry sectors. The CAD (Canadian Dollar) 19.5 million project titled ‘Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity’ (B-SEP) was launched at a ceremony in Dhaka.

“Our vision for the future is to ensure quality education that meets global standard and enhance the skills of our workforce so that they can have mobility across border and create higher demand for their skills in the global market. Already we have achieved the goal of bringing nearly all children to school, now it is high time that we train them and turn into skilled workforce. This will ensure betterment for all and reduce poverty,” said Nurul Islam Nahid MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Education.

The five year B-SEP Project will contribute to the implementation of the National Skills Development Policy (NSDP) and support the development of a robust and more effective skills system in Bangladesh, which would allow to achieve a better trained and qualified workforce in key industry sectors in order to contribute to decent work, sustainable economic development, poverty reduction, and social inclusion. Ministry of Education is the implementing ministry through its Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) and ILO is the implementing agency through technical cooperation agreement.

Heather Cruden, High Commissioner of Canada, who attended the launching ceremony said, “Canada is committed to supporting the Government of Bangladesh’s efforts to enhance the skills of its people for safe, meaningful and productive jobs in both the local and global marketplace. The implementation of the National Skills Development Policy is key for strengthening the quality, market relevance and effectiveness of Bangladesh’s technical and vocational education training system. Efforts must also be made to ensure increased access of women, persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups to skills development programs.”

“We believe that Canada’s support to this ILO project will contribute to a better-trained and skilled workforce in target sectors, which have the potential to contribute to economic opportunities for the people of Bangladesh,” she added.

The multi-year project will primarily focus on five target industries, namely: Agro-food Processing, Tourism and Hospitality, Pharmaceuticals, Ceramics and Furniture manufacturing. The project aims to ensure supply of skilled workforce to the target sectors by introducing 20 new competency based programs for priority occupations.

“Building on the momentum of ILO-led Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Project this new project will take the issue of skills development to a new level and will directly enhance the capacity of all the stakeholders.” said Srinivasa B Reddy, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh. “I believe that this project will be a useful tool in creating an efficient and skilled workforce for Bangladesh.” he added.

The B-SEP Project will provide technical support in key areas that will include skills funding, planning and support services, competency based training and assessment, ensuring quality and relevance, industry skills development and improved access to skills training.

During the five year period, the project plans to provide training to 1000 trainers, assessors and managers; training and certifying 14,500 workers and master crafts persons through formal and informal apprenticeships; and provide job placement and career support to over 5,000 beneficiaries using the public and private employment services.

The Project will address cross-cutting themes including gender equity, participation and inclusion of disadvantaged groups of beneficiaries and will directly provide training for over 2,500 women and people with disabilities.

The B-SEP project will work closely with a number of national implementing partners including: National Skills Development Council (NSDC), Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB), Directorate of Technical Education, Ministry of Education (DTE), Bureau for Manpower Employment & Training, Ministry of Expatriate Welfare & Overseas Employment (BMET).

For more information contact please contact:

For Technical Information:
For Information on ILO: Abdullah Al Muyid, email: mob: +88 01713 068384