There are over 5,500 RMG factories in Bangladesh, and this number is rising with an average annual growth rate of 12% while RMG sector contributes 18% to GDP growth. 40% (4.4 million) of the industrial or 6% of the total workforce is directly employed in the RMG sector and 70% of workers are women. Typically, RMG factories are segmented into two subsectors: 1) knitwear, which also includes sweaters and 2) woven. Both subsectors are fully export oriented.
In the RMG sector, Sudokkho focused on partnerships with international buyers, brands and retailers and also with groups of companies. Factories were nominated by these partners to participate in the programme.
i. Firstly, partnering through international brands, retailers and buyers provided access to a network of Bangladeshi factories and increased the scope to scale up and replicate training model. International buyers were interested in increasing their strategic business partnerships with supplier factories. In addition, they were interested in supporting initiatives that focused on social compliance issues and skills development, which improved factories’ overall business performance. Factories that supplied international buyers, retailers and brands needed to enhance the efficiency of their manufacturing processes in order to achieve the speed that was necessary to meet tight lead times. Upskilling and multiskilling of their workforce had a direct impact on improving their production floor performance.
ii. Secondly, the export-oriented knitwear and woven textiles industry were the leading subsectors in RMG that created entry-level employment opportunities, especially for women. Since the target group of Sudokkho were people from the poorer strata of society and had a focus on women, this was a strategic fit.
The construction industry is a labor-intensive industry. The industry provides many jobs for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers both in the formal and informal sectors. The job seekers from rural areas migrating to cities often find the construction work as an easy option for their urban livelihoods. Housing and Real Estate sector (building construction) is a key part of the construction sector. Most of the labour force engaged in the construction sector is basically engaged in the housing and building construction activities.
The two factors which made the construction sector interesting for Sudokkho were:
The potential direct beneficiaries of Sudokkho are: