Building Skills for Unemployed and Underemployed Labour (B-SkillFUL)

Almost 2 million workers join the labour force every year in Bangladesh settling mostly in the informal sector given their lack of relevant skills. However, the informal sector workers and employers, where about 80% of the jobs are created, lacks adherence to legal and regulatory frameworks, and is largely unaware of decent work practices. As a result, workers in informal sector enterprises are subject to hazardous working conditions and exploitation. Although lack of awareness on such issues are marginally addressed in recent years after major accidents, particularly in the Ready Made Garment sector, the practice is limited mainly to the formal sectors.

Under such circumstances, the B-SkillFUL project aims to facilitate training and job placement of young men and women in both formal and informal enterprises where decent work agenda is addressed. The project also covers the basics of entrepreneurship in training programmes and facilitates links with financial institutes for graduates who want to become self-employed.

The Project

B-SkillFUL aims to improve the well-being of poor and disadvantaged men and women by increasing their access to the labour market and enhancing their incomes, while safeguarding their fundamental rights at work. The project facilitates implementation of training programmes through local Training Service Providers (TSPs) in Dhaka, Bogra, Sunamganj, Jessore and other districts on marketable skills. B-SkillFUL also raises awareness amongst the graduates and informal sector enterprises on issues of decent work (workplace safety, labour rights etc.). The duration of the project Phase I is 4 years.

The project aims to facilitate the training of 40,000 poor men and women. The majority of the beneficiaries are from disadvantaged groups such as divorced or widowed women, single mothers, differently abled people and people from ethnic and religious minority.

The project adopts a facilitative approach instead of direct service delivery to foster sustainability. Training programme development, training delivery, employment of the beneficiaries, addressing decent work is done through local partners that are likely to remain functional in the labour market in the long run.

Results

Key Activities of the Project

  • Raise awareness among the beneficiaries about benefits of and opportunities for skills training
  • Facilitate delivery of market-based skills training and certification for wage and self-employment of the beneficiaries
  • Support TSPs and private sector enterprises to conduct workplace-based training and job placement
  • Assist in establishing a cell within the Informal Sector Industry Skills Council for raising awareness among informal sector enterprises on decent work agenda
  • Facilitate linkages of trainees, graduates, TSPs with financial institutions

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