Skills shortages in the private sector are a serious constraint on economic growth. The skills system must be strengthened to support national development. Bangladesh’s National Skills Development Policy was developed in 2011 to guide skill development strategies and facilitate improved coordination of all elements of skills training and the parties involved. It aims to contribute to the implementation of other national economic, employment, and social policies so that Bangladesh can achieve its goal of attaining middle-income status in 2021.
Skills development is, therefore, a major priority the Government of Bangladesh. In addition, development partners/international donors have also committed to supporting GoB in addressing this. The role of industry and employers in shaping the skills requirements is critical and the National Skills Development Council Secretariat is actively engaged in the establishment and further work of Industry Skills Councils (ISCs).
The British Council in partnership with National Skills Development Council (NSDC) is hosting a three-day workshop on Industry-Responsive Skills: A Roadmap for Development from 13-15 December 2014.
This joint initiative will emphasis on the importance of skills development in national economic and social growth and also the importance of ensuring that this development is industry relevant and responsive with Industry Skills Councils (ISCs) playing a critical role.
Over three days, both parties will work with a wide range of key stakeholders from both government and industry, allowing employers to reflect on the benefits of such an approach. It will also be of interest to international donors and senior directors of current skills projects. Special focus will be on construction and construction-related work as this is one of the key sectors in Bangladesh.
The British Council has brought guest speakers from the UK (Mr Jonathan Ledger and Mr Tony Howard) who will share insights into the role of Skills Councils in the UK at this event. In addition, Chris Cooper, Senior Skills Adviser from British Council UK, and Louise Cowcher, Education and Skills Specialist in British Council Bangladesh will be facilitating the sessions.
Additionally, NSDC will share their plans and roadmap on developing an industry-responsive skills approach. The participants will address issues such as the mission and governance of ISCs, labour management information, and sector research. They will also focus on the skills assessment system, including discussions on the design, approach, and delivery of assessment and the training of assessors.
The inauguration of this workshop was held on Saturday 13 December 2014. Mr Mujibul Haque Chunnu, Honourable State Minister, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was present at the inauguration as the Chief Guest. Mr Mikail Shipar, Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment and H.E. Robert W Gibson CMG, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh attended the event as the Special Guests.
H.E Robert W Gibson CMG – British High Commissioner to Bangladesh said-
The potential of this part of the world is amazing. In Bangladesh, the people are its assets. That’s why there is no substitute for education and skills. Skills need to be led by the employer and enabled by government. With that collaboration and responsibility, economic and technological growth follows, productivity rises, and the skills workforce deficit reduces. You have started the journey by finding out more of what can be achieved with collaboration and the emphasis on delivering skills.
Mr Mujibul Haque Chunnu, Honourable State Minister said -
We need to work with our industries to understand their medium and long-term strategies for growth. We need to understand what their research tells us about how the industries are changing and what new knowledge and skills they will require in the workplace to achieve this growth. Our employers and Industry Skills Councils will play a critical role in defining what occupational competences are required. Working together with BTEB and education providers, this will then allow our young people to get access to the training that will allow them to occupy their rightful place in the workforce and to both contribute to Bangladesh’s future prosperity and achieve their own aspirations. I wish all partners the best in their endeavours to develop and sustain the roadmap for skills development leading to economic growth and prosperity. The British Council is committed to working in partnerships to develop high-quality skills systems that help both individuals and economies to prosper and promote stable societies.
In Bangladesh, they have delivered Skills for Employability Programme, and are currently co-delivering the DFID and SDC funded Skills and Employment Programme (SEP-B). Through their Skills and Employability Programme they have worked with Technical Colleges and Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB). They also work with employer representative organisations, qualification authorities, employment services and education and training institutions.