More opportunities in baking than an MBA in Bangladesh

Educated in Karachi University, last year Jimi Ur Rahman was working as a pharmacist in a multinational company in Pakistan. This year, he is studying baking in Bangladesh and could not be more confident about his future.

Article | 02 July 2015
“My wife and I had good jobs in Pakistan but I came here to do this course because there are so many opportunities in baking, and the National Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (NHTTI) offers nationally recognised qualifications. To learn such skills in such a recognised institute in any other country would cost you thousands of dollars, not taka,” said Jimi.

“Ever since I was a child I’ve always enjoyed cooking. Now it has become a respected profession, one that is actually enjoyable as well as offering good career prospects. I will use the Level 1 and 2 course here as a stepping stone to get accepted into higher level baking qualifications abroad and then I’ll start my own business there” said Jimi.

Jimi is one of the many already highly qualified trainees opting for the new nationally recognised baking courses offered by the NHTTI

With the numbers of restaurants and hotels in Bangladesh rapidly growing, demand for skilled tourism and hospitality staff is also growing. The NHTTI is one of the institutions that the ILO, through the Canada-funded Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity (B-SEP) Project, is supporting to deliver nationally recognised qualifications under the new National Technical and Vocational Qualification Frameworkam

The NHTTI, with the support of the ILO, has become a Registered Training Organisation, hosts meetings of the newly developed Tourism and Hospitality Industry Skills Council and has recently become a Centre of Excellence for the tourism and hospitality sector. The new training courses are delivered in its new, industry-standard laboratory, equipped with the support of the B-SEP Project, and by teachers trained in competency based training methods through the project.

We had 20 seats available in our recent National Technical and Vocational Qualification course but had to accept 22 trainees. We are not talking about uneducated or unemployed people either – many of our trainees have masters’ degrees. The bakers of the future are lawyers, lecturers, pharmacists and doctors - said NHTTI Principal Ashraful Haque.
Md Amit Hasan and his family watched television shows on cooking and decided to opt for this course over a MBA;

“My uncle suggested this course. My family said that it is a better opportunity than university studies and if I want, I can always do a MBA later. Nowadays being a chef is a very respected job compared to a MBA and most importantly, I am enjoying myself,“ Amit said.

Graduating students from all different walks of life are proving that all of these dreams are possible. Principal Haque said;

“Our students are everywhere – 70-80% go directly into employment, in everywhere from five star hotels in Dhaka to hospitality chains in the Middle East, to selling cakes online and making BDT1 lac profit each month from that,” he said.

“Things are changing in Bangladesh – more people are working, so eating out and packaged food is becoming more popular. People are more aware now of the need for professionalism in food and beverage service and also of food safety”, the principal noted.

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