Changing demands for skills in the Agro-Processing Industry: BYETS findings

Upskilling and Reskilling
The processed food market is currently valued at $4.8 billion, combining both domestic consumption and exports. Projections indicate that by the year 2030, this figure is expected to rise to $5.8 billion. A report released by BIDA (2023, June) highlights the government's commitment to creating an additional 100,000 employment opportunities in this sector by 2025. In light of these developments, the BYETS project carried out TNA in AP factories across Dhaka and Chattogram to gain a deeper understanding of the training requirements within the AP industry. The factories included in TNA are Kazi Food Industries, Hashem Foods Limited, Danish Food Industry, Meghna Noodles & Biscuit Factory, Olympic Industries, Banoful and Co. Ltd., and Meridian Foods Limited.
BYETS project conducted Training Need Assessments (TNA) in seven large Agro Processing (AP) factories producing consumer packaged goods in Dhaka and Chattogram and identified emerging skills demands. 

One of the major takeaways from the assessments was the urgent need to enhance the skills of workers to boost productivity and efficiency. The assessments revealed that only 30% of the workers were deemed skilled, while the remaining workforce was either unskilled or semi-skilled, with limited expertise in compliance, quality control, and productivity.

In total, 86% of respondents from factory management acknowledged the necessity of training to improve knowledge and performance. Primary areas identified for enhancing workers' performance included food safety, HACCP, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), quality management systems, occupational safety and health, and productivity risk assessment. Among the factories surveyed, half had training facilities, and nearly all had designated trainers to provide orientations to workers. However, only 18% of these trainers were women. Overall, there was a positive attitude towards organising workplace-based training within the factory premises and enhancing the capacity of trainers to deliver high-quality training for workers.

BYETS project is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) and implemented by Swisscontact.

The project aims to support Training Service Providers (TSPs) and enrol 10,000 youths in market-driven training in two key sectors, namely AP and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), across Dhaka, Chattogram, Khulna, and Rajshahi divisions. Simultaneously, the project will provide WBT by partnering with employers to upskill 15,000 workers in the AP and Readymade Garments (RMG) sectors.

Upskilling and Reskilling, Labour market insertion
Building Youth Employability through Skills (BYETS)
The Building Youth Employability through Skills (BYETS) project will empower Bangladeshi youth with improved technical, employability and entrepreneurial skills, and connect them to income generating opportunities: jobs and self-employment. BYETS will partner with Training Service Providers (TSPs), government, industry, and employers to create a conducive environment for the targeted youth that would facilitate employment opportunities for them.