Key Facts & Figures
► Around 60% of the labor market of 49.5 million in Bangladesh comprises of youth (age 18 to 35).
► 40% of the working age population has no schooling; 24% has up to grade V education.
► 3% of entire population is enrolled in vocational education.
► Existing training institutes have little or no industry linkages and thus fail to provide their students with skills which are demanded in the market.
► Investment in skills development by industries is low.
SkillMark aims to develop and strengthen the markets for skills development for the unemployed and underemployed poor youth, by piloting different business models that demonstrate how training providers can cater and respond to industry needs by providing them with skilled workforce who are then readily absorbed in jobs.
The project was implemented from January 2009 to December 2012. The inception phase from January to June 2009 was spent in conducting research and, analyzing various past and ongoing initiatives to understand the functioning of the existing Technical and Vocational Education system in Bangladesh. Using this understanding SkillMark has designed specific strategies that will open up a wider avenue for employment and income opportunities for young women and men from low income families, increasing supply of skilled labor to selected economic sectors, making them more competitive and further generating more jobs.
SkillMark’s vision was to engage different market players to participate in and develop mechanisms which foster market-based skills development rather than the project providing the services itself, so that the system for skills development in itself becomes sustainable. Some of the key areas the project targetted were: migrant laborers going for overseas employment, light engineering sector, leather and footwear sector, readymade garments and textile sector, handicraft and cottage industries, shipbuilding industries, furniture sector, tourism industry and automobile sector.
The strategies to achieve impact in the skills development market included:
- Establishing linkages among financial institutions, training providers and trainees.
- Establishing linkages among employers, industries (e.g. BMO, associations or other bodies that represent a particular industry) and training providers.
- Enhancing the capacity of training providers in selected sectors of the economy
- Initiating awareness building on the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Major Project activities included:
- Conduction of research to understand the skills need of different industries
- Partnership with a private training institute to build their capacity to deliver workers in the tourism industry
More information on the Project can be obtained from Belayet Hossain, National Officer(email@example.com)