Skills 21 – Empowering citizens for inclusive and sustainable growth

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 for young people through support for the development of an inclusive technical and vocational training system responding to the needs of the labour market.

Some two million people enter the Bangladesh workforce each year, however the capacity to provide skills training is limited. There is therefore a pressing need to help the country provide equitable and quality technical education capable of skilling and up skiiling large numbers of people to meet market demands.

This requires qualified teachers and assessors, up-to-date institutional facilities and a market driven competency-based inclusive skills system. These steps are crucial for enhancing labour productivity as well as facilitating industrialization, trade and inclusive economic growth.

The EU-funded ILO - implemented Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Project successfully implemented the reforms in the formal TVET system and set the foundation for the nascent National Skills Development System (NSDS) in Bangladesh. However, to successfully address the needs of the country’s growing workforce, the system needs strengthening, promotion, adoption/adaption, and replication by stakeholders.

Skills 21 project addresses following priority areas, in particular:

  • Strengthening the quality of the TVET/Skills development system notably through the development of the Bangladesh National Qualifications Framework (BNQF) in order to harmonize qualification pathways across both technical and formal education;
  • Supporting the development of model TVET institutes which are inclusive, environmentally oriented, and labour-market responsive providers of qualitative technical training;
  • Supporting collaboration between the private sector and technical training providers to develop and implement demand-driven technical and vocational training programmes.

Skills 21 project highlights  

Skills training: 5,950 youth completed NTVQF training, 80% certified, 39% employed (34% female, 6% ethnic, 2% PWD) in welding, graphic design, electrical installation and maintenance, plumbing, refrigeration & air conditioning, woodworking machine operation, sewing machine operation, caregiving and driving. A blended learning system was developed to enable training during the Pandemic. The implementing training institutes were BS Polytechnic Institute, Rangamati; Feni Polytechnic Institute; Gaibandha TTC; IMT Bagerhat; Khulna Mahila Polytechnic Institute and Sylhet TSC, BKTTC Dhaka, BKTTC Chattogram, Rangamati TTC, Dhaka Mahila Polytechnic Institute, Dhaka Polytechnic Institute, and UCEP.

Centres for Skills Excellence (CSEs): Teacher Training: 3,312 trainers and assessors (16% female) trained in CBT&A L4 and 100 master trainer in L5 Competency-Based Training and Assessments through the CSE’s (TTTC, VTTI) and partner institutes (BTEB, BKTTC-Dhaka; BKTTC-Chattogram). In addition, 938 teachers (13% female) completed the training on e-content and e-learning materials development in VTTI.

2,684 complete entrepreneurship development training : Skills 21 partner institutes and SIYB Foundation conducted blended Entrepreneurship Development Training (EDT) for 2,684 entrepreneurs who have improved capacity to become entrepreneurs (43% female) 375 are in businesses. In addition, 13 master trainers and 60 trainers were trained to roll out the EDT programme.

51 master trainers trained:
51 master trainers trained on online materials development and training delivery through a two-months long distance-learning programme facilitated by ITCILO. Earlier in 2020, 6 CSE/IMDC staff trained in materials development and management of e-learning.

E-Campus- 170 online training materials:
A Team of 938 TVET teachers (13% female) have the capacity to develop online materials. 170 materials have been developed and uploaded. A team of trained TVET teachers produced 176 e-learning products ranging from video lectures and supplementary text materials. The content is now available in the e-campus, and the respective Facebook and YouTube pages of the respective TVET institutes.

RPL: 3,905 workers assessed : 3,905 workers (15% female) assessed through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessments 80% certified obtained skills certificate level 1 in various occupations.