To attain the intended systemic change and to tackle the issues prevailing in the TVET sector, Sudokkho introduced number of innovative approaches such as promoting private sector to move from donor driven to market driven training business, industry-based training mechanism for in-house training system in the RMG factories, institutional capacity building of the construction sector industry skills council etc.
Sudokkho facilitated institutional capacity building support to PTPs to offer high quality, relevant, affordable, and flexible delivered training and assessment system, which helped PTPs to change their mind-set from donor driven to market driven skills training while PTPs offered initial vocational skills training to the job seekers in RMG and construction sectors. Following interventions contributed to change in PTP’s mind set and behaviours such as generation of fee from trainees, brokering partnership with the industries, ensuring the quality and relevance of the training, and getting registered as accredited CBT institutions.
Industry Based Training (IBT) model has been applied in the RMG sector using a competency based training approach for delivering customised trainings catering to the specific needs of Sewing Machine Operator (SMO). Rather than directly subsidising in-house training, Sudokkho offered Technical Assistance to support RMG industries for establishing training model with the potential to expand without direct project support. Employers or industry partners covered all direct costs of training. The IBT model was effective and efficient in-factory training system with better and faster training for skilling of unskilled SMOs, up-skilling of low performers and development of multi-skilled operators.
Furthermore, IBT was very effective for Low Performer Improvement (LPI) and multi-skilling of the SMOs. LPI is a structured methodology used for improving the performance of the low performing operators. LPI, up-skilling, and multi-skilling training were provided by the trained trainers.
IBT mechanism works best when i) economic sector is organised such as RMG, ii) ccontinual short and intensive training for skilling, reskilling, and multiskilling by the factory is needed, and iii) seasonal workforce is shortage while training can be tailored to the specific needs of the factory.
By incorporating soft skills in curricula along with the technical skills improved job readiness of trained graduates. They were not only taught but applied in the workplace and became day-to-day practice. One of the Qualitative Reflection Session (QRS) studies of Sudokkho revealed that job seekers had better communication and leadership skills, decision making, self-motivation, time management, and worked under pressure at workplace. Integrating soft skills into the technical skills in the curricula was further appreciated during impact assessment at the end of project. The employers also had a high demand for Suddokkho trainees for Sudokkho both in RMG and construction sector who not only were skilled but could also reflect on their appropriate behavior at the workplace while following rules and regulations and ensuring their own safety following the norms and etiquettes of the workplace.
Project ensured that such skills of trainees really increased by i) integrating soft skills into the Competency Skills Log Book (CSLB) where each trainee documented the learning, ii) providing technical back stopping to PTPs, iii) monitoring of PTPs by the project officials and interaction with the instructors and trainees to check progress on learning of soft skills, and iv) orientating trainees from the industry personnel about the industry work environment. It works best when all staff of the training centers are sensitised on soft skills while development of soft skills was not easy given the time constraint.
Sudokkho introduced a reward system specifically designed for stimulating PTPs to bring systemic changes in skills training market. Four categories of rewards were i) generation of fee from the trainees, ii) linkage with industry, iii) gets accreditation as RTO from BTEB, and iv) PTP receives training contract from industry to train and supply trained graduates on fee basis.
Sudokkho designed and implemented technical assistance package for strengthening the capacity of PTPs. The purpose for the implementation of quality standards was to i) improve the quality and relevance of the training; ii) improve operations and profitability of the PTPs; iii) improve the trust among PTPs (supply side), industries and potential trainees (demand side); and iv) improve sustainability of the PTPs.
The standards were adapted to the Bangladesh legal and regulatory environment to include the criteria for obtaining legal registration and for obtaining RTO accreditation from BTEB and/or the National Skills Development Authority. Seven quality standards, adapted to the Bangladeshi context, are organised at the right.
Quality standards are minimum requirements for the PTPs for operating their training business sustainably. It is suitable for those PTPs who have progressive management and willing to offer quality and relevant skills training catering to the needs of industry and individual, enhance employability of trainees and their productivity, and align training institute with accreditation requirements of the government.
Quality standards worked well for bigger PTPs who had progressive management while smaller enterprise having fewer permanent staff had difficulty to implement the standards. Duration for the implementation of quality standards remained critical due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the lasting change, sensitization and commitment of PTPs for long term investment in institutional capacity building is essential.
However, Sudokkho undertook a process to align its courses with BTEB at NTVQF Level-1. When Sudokkho started implementation of its training system, PTPs had no accreditation from BTEB and absence of systematic approach for the assessment of trainees. Therefore, Sudokkho introduced a Skills Assessment System Model, illustrated in the diagram below, which was being adopted by the partner PTPs. This provided a consistent approach for assessment of trainees across all PTPs.
All PTPs recognised value of assessment and certification system while some of the PTPs who were upgraded to accredited RPL assessment centres offered credible national level certificate alligned with NTVQF. PTP accredited as RPL assessment centre had opportunity to generate additional income for facilitating and contributing to the national level skills assessment and certification.
Sudokkho identified PTPs who could cater to the demand of the local RMG industry better if they establish linkages with the RMG factories, and consequently deliver training based on the specific needs of the clients. This will not only ensure better employability of the PTP graduates but also enable the PTPs to promote their services more effectively. Sudokkho facilitated following steps for establishing sustainable linkages between RMG factories and PTPs:
i) Selection of appropriate PTPs for linkage
ii) Facilitation of selected PTPs to source and establish linkage with RMG factories
iii) Provision of capacity development support to the selected PTPs for enabling them to train on specific processes based on factory requirement
iv) Training Implementation
v) Supply of Trainees and Employment Tracking
The establishment of Industry Skills Councils is still in its initial stage in Bangladesh. GoB aims to have an industry owned and managed organisation that collects and analyses labour market information, guides industry in predicting skills demand and facilitates the development of relevant and up-to-date occupational standards, curriculums and training materials. ISCs would liaise closely with the skills development institutions to facilitate the development of high quality and relevant training courses for the labour force in the sectors. With the support from Sudokkho, Construction Industry Skills Council (CISC) was established in alignment with section 8 of the National Skills Development Policy (NSDP) 2011 and formally registered as a joint stock company under the Companies Act (Act XVIII) of 1994.
Today, CISC maintains an up-to-date website and the guidelines, strategies, as well as the training learning materials, are available on CISC’s website. It is worth mentioning that among all the registered ISCs in Bangladesh, only CISC has been maintaining a functioning website that ensures access to the resources for all stakeholders.
Besides, CISC has developed a comprehensive funding proposal to avail funds from the National Human Resource Development Fund (NHRDF) for its sustainability in long-run.