National apprenticeship strategy takes shape

Supported by the ILO, the National Skills Development Council held the first formal stakeholder meeting on developing a national strategy for apprenticeships in Bangladesh on September 30, 2014 in SK Fazilutennesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training College in the capital.

News | 25 August 2015
The meeting was chaired by ABM Khorshed Alam (Additional Secretary), CEO, National Skills Development Council, and attended by representatives from a variety of government and non-government organisations.

A national working group was formed, compromising fourteen members, from the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Education, National Skills Development Council, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, Bangladesh Technical Education Board, Directorate of Technical Education, Industry Skills Councils, National Coordination Committee for Workers Education, Bangladesh Employers Federation, Department of Factories, ILO and Canada (as the donor agency).

The existing Industry Skills Councils will act as subcommittees of the national working group, to specifically focus on how apprenticeships can be implemented in each each industry sector.

Chairperson Khorshed Alam said that apprenticeships will not be a burden for industry or government, and they will be promoted through public/private partnerships.

Begum Shamsun Nahar, Director General, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), suggested that BMET’s district level technical training colleges could play a key role in implementing apprenticeships. She offered that colleges could conduct the theoretical training needed in dual apprenticeship programmes.

The Ministry of Industry representative suggested a synergy of skills and industry policy should be reflected in apprenticeship strategy. His ministry will welcome it and may incorporate it in their industrial policy.

Apprenticeships are a key part of Bangladesh’s new National Skills Development System. For trainees to be able to transition directly into the workforce upon graduation, industry must work closer with public training institutions and become more actively involved in skills development.

The ILO is currently working with the Government of Bangladesh to reform the skills development system through two major initiatives; a CAD19.5 million grant from Canada for the Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity (B-SEP) Project, and a Euro 14 million grant from the European Union for the TVET Reform in Bangladesh Project.

See the National Skills Development Policy (English/Bangla) here