Capacity assessment of Industry Skills Councils (ISCs) for better skills need analysis

The Skills 21 project supported the National Skills Development Authority to conduct a capacity assessment study of the selected ISCs to formulate a generic capacity development plan for the RMG and textiles and ICT sectors.

News | 30 November 2021
DHAKA (ILO News) - The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has undertaken several other reform initiatives in order to strengthen the skills development ecosystem in the country. The GoB has enacted the National Skills Development Authority Act, 2018 to transform the existing National Skill Development Council (NSDC) into the National Skill Development Authority (NSDA), an autonomous organization under the Prime Minister’s Office which started in February 2019.

NSDA rules under this act have also been developed. The Act and the rules have provided a basic framework for the institutional and operational aspects of NSDA. Moreover, NSDA has also reviewed the National Skills Development Policy (NSDP) of 2021 and drafted NSDP 2021 with an action plan to implement this policy under the present regulatory framework.

One of the mandates of the NSDA is to strengthen industry links with the TVET institutes through Industry Skills Councils (ISCs). There are now 13 ISCs in operation for 13 sectors: agro food, ceramics, furniture, tourism, and hospitality, pharmaceuticals, information and communication technologies, ready-made garments and textiles (RMG & T), light engineering, leather and leather goods, the informal sector, construction, and creative media.

ISCs have the capacity to advise the NSDA and TVET authorities on matters related to industry skills. The role of ISCs, however, goes beyond playing merely an advisory function and can improve the TVET sector in many other ways. A reasonable amount of funding is necessary to develop, strengthen and make ISCs sustainable. Well-motivated and capable ISCs leadership, proper office set up with trained staff and a well-planned programme that fulfils the main goals of developing ISCs are other requirements for greater sustainability.

Dulal Krishno Shaha of EC-NSDA said, “Strengthening ISCs is an integrated approach, which requires capacity development plans based on their capacity assessment. This will help the NSDA to effectively perform its mandate of transforming and coordinating the skills development system in Bangladesh through strong industry linkages by the ISCs.”
“Hence, a capacity assessment of the ISCs takes time to understand the gaps in the current arrangement and to develop capacity building plans.” He added.

The Skills 21 project supported the NSDA to conduct a capacity assessment study of the selected ISCs to formulate a generic capacity development plan for the RMG and textiles and ICT sectors. The capacity of RMG&T and ICT ISCs was assessed from the perspective of policy and legislation, planning, and resource mobilization, enabling environment, data and information systems and sectoral coordination.

Soon, the NSDA will conduct the skills mismatch and skills needs analysis in the RMG and textile and ICT sectors. This will give an overview to the TVET institutes to conduct training on the specific occupations that can fulfil skilled workforce demand in the related sectors.

The 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.