ILO’s European Union funded project Skills 21 is in the process of supporting the government in developing a Bangladesh Qualification Framework (BQF), building the mechanisms and elements for a Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) in the TVET & Skills development sector and establishing Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA). These initiatives are aimed at improving the TVET and Skills Development Sector by better linking education and training to current and emerging demands for jobs in country and abroad. The success of these initiatives however will depend on all stakeholders working together under the leadership of the government.
Secretary TMED discuss the importance of BQF, SWAp and MRA to improve the TVET and Skills Development In this regard, a workshop on “Bangladesh TVET sector Development Projection Aligned with SDGs” was organized by Skills 21 project and Technical and Madrasah Education Division (TMED). The objectives were to discuss a proposed roadmap towards achieving these goals, to generate interest and establish meaningful partnerships under the committed leadership of the government and support from the Development Partners (DPs) on the development and implementation of these three distinct, yet interlinked thematic areas. These could potentially lead the TVET and the overall education and skills development landscape in Bangladesh to be quality-assured, more equitable and more efficient. Mr. David Lythe, an international consultant and expert in developing qualification framework, SWAp and MRA presented possible roadmaps on basis of his work with various stakeholders, leading up to the workshop. The Secretary of TMED Mr. Md. Alamgir appreciated the proposed roadmaps and the recommendations that came from the workshop. He said, “Since BQF is government’s priority and SWAp is much needed to enhance the skills sector through which Bangladesh can achieve the status of an upper-middle-income or high-income country, these initiatives are very timely.” Mr. Tuomo Poutiainen, Director, ILO Dhaka, noted that the ILO has been supporting the government for a number of years in a number of areas including the skills sector, which has been possible due to the continued support from EU. Since Employment and Decent Work are at the heart of what the ILO does, it actively thinks of the future of work, and strives to develop platforms for youth through skills development system for a better tomorrow. Appreciating the large government presence in the workshop, Ms. Doerte Bosse, Team Leader, Education and Human Development, EU Delegation to Bangladesh, considered this as a sign of commitment of the Government to skills development. Although Skills 21 will support with the first step, Bangladesh has to take a long term view on the skills sector, she emphasized. She stressed on the coordination of a wide range of partners, including the DPs to coordinate on what they are doing. Ms. Bosse opined, SWAp, BQF, MRA are all closely linked together. The workshop brought together around 60 participants from Bangladesh Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Education sectors, professionals, including government policy planners and administrators from TMED, Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB), Secondary and Higher Education Division (SHED), Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), Bureau of Manpower Education and Training (BMET); University Grants Commission (UGC), employers’ and workers’ representatives; DPs namely, EU, World Bank (WB), ADB, Global Affairs Canada, GIZ, DFAT Australia. The participants of the workshop endorsed the direction of the roadmap and proposed three different National Steering Committee & a proposed ToR for each to lay the groundwork for BQF, SWAp in TVET & Skills development sector and for establishing MRA.