“Uttoron” organized an experience sharing seminar on 25 April 2018 at Dhaka in which Chief Guest Honorable State Minister Mr. Nasrul Hamid MP appreciated Swisscontact for partnering with Chevron to build the skilled workforce for Bangladesh in collaboration with Ministry of Finance’s Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP). During the seminar, the project presented a documentary on the project that showcases all key aspects of the project: from its unique trainee selection process to the transformational stories of the training graduates. Since the seminar, the documentary has received much acclamations from various stakeholders. The link to the documentary is now ready to be shared in public.
“Uttoron – skills for better life” is a skills development project that aims to create gainful employment opportunities for 1,400 community members in three north-eastern districts of Bangladesh. The three-year project, commenced in 2016, is funded by Chevron under the Bangladesh Partnership Initiative (BPI) and implemented by Swisscontact. The project supports community members to qualify for industry-driven trainings and position them for new or improved employment opportunities.
The project is exceptional in the skills development sector of Bangladesh for the following reasons:
1. Unique Trainee Selection Approach: High drop-out rate among trainees is one of the key challenges of skills development projects in Bangladesh. Right selection of trainees plays a vital role in this regard. To address this challenge, Uttoron has designed a unique multi-layered trainee selection process. Unlike other projects who solely focus on the economic background (the need for the training and the job) of the candidates, it also takes into account the aspiration of the trainees (the determination to complete the training and get a relevant job) in its selection process. This has resulted in a low drop-out rate (1.15%): one of the remarkable achievements of the project.
2. Emphasis on Post-Training Employment: The project considers employment of its graduates to be its ultimate goal. Uttoron facilitates the training service providers (TSPs) in job placement of the graduates by linking them with potential employers. These newly developed connections with employers strengthen the capacity of their job placement unit of the TSPs in a sustainable manner. The current employment rate of the training graduates is 73%.
3. A Model Project in Managing Partnership with Local Government: Uttoron has been commended for its meticulous effort in involving the local leaders and local government representatives at every step of the project. A good working relation with the local government has allowed the project in gaining support from higher government authorities as well as leverage from getting the venue free of cost during the trainee selection boot-camps. Due to the well-maintained communication, the local leaders and government representatives have become active advocates of the project. Their references help the project in achieving credibility among the local community and spread word-of -mouth.
4. Setting Examples to other Private Enterprises: The acclamations received by Uttoron also enhances the brand image of its donor organization, Chevron. Donors from private sector are not yet a common phenomenon in the skills development sector of Bangladesh. Through funding a project like Uttoron, Chevron is setting examples on utilization of ‘corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’ fund in skills development sector. In an experience sharing event of Uttoron, honorable State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Nasrul Hamid, MP said, “Uttoron is an example of excellence where Chevron has partnered with Swisscontact to build the skilled workforce for Bangladesh... I encourage more private enterprises to come forward with similar skills development endeavors through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.”
In addition to the documentary, Uttoron also launched a success story book entitled “Karigor” (meaning in English: Artisan) during the experience sharing seminar. The book contains 12 success stories of our training graduates.
Uttoron continues to achieve its objectives and keeps contributing to the skills development sector of Bangladesh.