The government is undertaking a more result-based training project to ensure updated skills of the industrial workers so they can sustain in the competitive market, according to an official document.
This has been inspired by the success of Skills for Employment Investment Programme (SEIP) project considering the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
According to the document, considering the ongoing and future demands of industry and trade, the government has provided training to about five lakh workers through the SEIP.
The document said that the growth of real wage of the workers will be ensured if the productivity of labour can be increased. This will raise their living standards.
“With this end in view, the government laid special emphasis on skill development,” it said.
Apart from this training, the SEIP is playing a vital role for human resource development and the skill development of the workers of the country through a range of initiatives like- capacity building of training institutes; developing the standard of training; developing
skilled trainer; providing certificate of international standard.
According to available information, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a Multi-tranche Financing Facility (MFF) Agreement with Bangladesh Government in 2014 in order to support long-term and comprehensive skills development efforts in Bangladesh assessing its potential contribution to higher GDP growth.
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is also co-financing the programme.
Finance Division is the executing agency of the SEIP project while three Ministries (Ministry of Expatriate Welfare, Education and Industries), Bangladesh Bank, PKSF and 13 Industry Associations are partnering with this Division.
Apart from this, BRTC under the Ministry of Ministry Road Transport & Highways is working with this project to develop 1,00,000 trained and licensed drivers to drastically reduce road accidents.
Support to Skills Development Coordination and Monitoring Unit (SDCMU) is working as the implementing agency.
The Skills Development Coordination and Monitoring Unit (SDCMU) is headed by the Executive Project Director who is assisted by 04 Deputy Executive Project Directors, 10 Assistant Executive Project Directors and a team of Specialists.
A Project Management Unit (PMU) is also working at Finance Division headed by Finance Secretary. Policy issues are dealt by the PMU alongside overall supervision of the project.
ADB and SDC have been jointly financing the first tranche of the program and the industry associations are also sharing a percentage of the total cost.
SDC, however, is not financing the second and third tranche activities due to their internal policy changes.
The total cost of SEIP project for the entire period of all three tranches (2014 to 2024) is estimated at Tk 3712.33 crore.
The official document said that in order to make the National Skills Development Authority (NSDA)- which has been set up for ensuring the funding of the training for skill development) fully functional the recruitment process of manpower has begun.
NSDA has started the creation of a portal on national skill development and implemented the relevant policies for national skill development.
The first meeting of the NSDA was held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her office (PMO).
The document mentioned that the present Government believes in poor-friendly and inclusive economic development. For the purpose of building a poverty-free country through inclusive growth, the most important requirements are growth of employment generation, increasing the productivity of labour and ensuring skill development and enhancing the real wages for the labourers.
In order to accelerate employment generation, it has taken up sector-wise initiatives. The key aspects of these initiatives are - providing incentives for labour-intensive and export-oriented production-based growth; bringing diversification in agriculture; making CMSME sector vibrant; expanding and strengthening of modern service sector including those out of the sectors; encouraging all the initiatives of information and communication sector; and extending and consolidating overseas employment generation.
Apart from this, the issue of employment generation is being considered while providing support for large public investment and other policy support measures for the newly established industry and trade.
Side by side, considering the necessity of the subject-based employment generation, the content of the educational programmes has been revised and reorganised and more emphasis is being given to creating certain linkage between education and industry.
Following the implementation of effective plan of action by the government, the document said, opportunity for employment is opening up gradually for those who have expertise in science and technology.
For example - direct or indirect employment has been generated for 20 lakh people having expertise in IT. Apart from this, at present around 6.5 lakh people are engaged in the profession of outsourcing as a free-lancer.
The government has taken up a plan for raising the number of information and communication technology-based employment up to 30 lakh by 2025.
Besides this, for the purpose of ensuring a balanced distribution of employment opportunities all over the country, the government has established 100 special economic zones where one crore people will be employed.
On the other hand, employment opportunities are being created in the fisheries and livestock sector by engaging the poor, small and medium farmers in the income-raising activities.
Above all, the government is attaching the highest priority to the employment generation in the outlines for rural based development of 87230 villages to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The government is working relentlessly to ensure the well- being of workers and to develop the environment of the work-place. During the period of COVID-19 pandemic, the prompt declaration of incentives packages and policy support measures of the government has contributed a lot to maintaining normalcy in labour condition of the country and ensuring the security of the workers of the industrial organisations.
The government is carrying out continuous inspection to the factories for identifying risks and inserting these risks in the National Work-Plan for Bangladesh Labour Sector 2021-2026.
Again, for the purpose of new employment generation and creating a central database for employment generation with education and training, steps are being taken to establish the “Directorate of Employment”.
The government activities towards abolishing child labour and ensuring the due wages for women workers will be more accelerated in the upcoming days.