TVET is high on the policy agenda of the Government of Bangladesh. With the policy ambitions of becoming a middle-income country in 2021 and a high-income country in 2041, there was a strong policy support for interventions aimed at improving the technical and vocational education and training such as the competency standards and assessment tools developed by Sudokkho were adopted and used by the BTEB and other donor programmes, competency-based curriculum framework developed by Sudokkho became a national document and adopted by NSDA with some modifications, and CISC became functional which is responsible for policy directions, regulations, monitoring and evaluation for the construction industry sector.
The institutional and management capacity of PTP, industry, and ISCs remained weak. However, Sudokkho did contribute to capacity building of its partner organisations to bring systemic change in the TVET system.
PTPs- Financing of skills training has always been challenging as the cost of training is comparatively high. As the training market is heavily subsidized currently by the government and donors.
Sudokkho promoted the use of appropriate technology to close the gap between the training centre and workplace environment.
The training system found useful for the factories because of its efficiency, shorter duration and appropriateness. It has been evident by the fact that majority of the factories, the project provided support to setting up IBT system, are continuing with the IBT training even beyond the project support. The IBT model has already been replicated by other RMG factories.
Sudokkho anchored with BGMEA’s Bangladesh University of Fashion Technology (BUFT) on the principles of the IBT system, and capacitated BUFT to incorporate these principles into course curriculum of short and long-term training and academic courses. Primark, Sudokkho brand partner, committed funding to continue and further develop the IBT model in their Bangladesh supplier factories.
CISC – CISC has got institutional capacity for carrying out the planned activities according to its five-year strategic plan while it will be required to look for funding sources for its sustainable operations.
Unlike government training institutions, financial capacity of PTPs is weak and would require further assistance to build their capacities and make them financially sustainable in the TVET system. Skills training is heavily subsidised by the donors and government funded projects. Therefore, the willingness of jobseeker and industry to pay for the training fee is low. One of the major sources of income of the
PTPs is training fee by the jobseekers to become financially sustainable in the skills market. Sudokkho contributed to penetrate skills market to move from subsidised to partially or non-subsidised training market by building the capacity of PTPs. Likewise, CISC is also having challenge to become financially sustainable. Currently, CISC secured funding for operational cost from SEIP/ADB project for three years while Sudokkho contributed for technical assistance for capacity building supports. However, CISC developed a comprehensive funding proposal to avail funds from the NHRDF for its sustainability in long-run.
Sudokkho’s gender mainstreaming approach supported the Government of Bangladesh’s (GoB) National Skills Development Policy 2011, which emphasised equal access of women to skills programmes. The capacity of partner organisations built for bringing major changes in the training market system such as PTPs securing business by equipping women and people from disadvantaged groups (DAGs) with skills required by RMG and the construction industry, PTPs improving their capacity to meet the training needs of women and DAGs and meet industry requirements, construction and RMG employers recruiting skilled women and DAGs from PTPs, and women and DAGs being aware of training opportunities, understanding their benefits, and developing their skills leading to employment and increased income. It is expected that the PTPs and RMG industry would continue implementation of the GSI strategy and contribute to the government’s skills development policy. For instance, 22 PTPs who implemented quality standards have developed their own GSI guidelines for addressing the GSI issues while RMG factories developed worker selection criteria for IBT assuring to select senior SMOs to be trained as trainers and majority of such trainers would be women.
Sudokkho was led by Palladium in consortium with Swisscontact and the British Council. Swisscontact was sub-contracted by Palladium to lead the private sector skills provision and manage technical components of the project such as PTPs offering quality and relevant training for existing and new workforce of RMG and Construction sectors, RMG factories setting up in-house industry-based training system, and industry skills councils developing skills training packages that meet the skills demand of the industry and the training systems used in Bangladesh. Swisscontact facilitated capacity building of the PTPs for getting accreditation to run CBT courses, improving training and workshop facilities to mirror industry requirements, introducing proper assessment and certification system, and brokering partnership with industries for employment linkage and business promotion, to implement commercially viable training. Institutional capacity of ISC was strengthened to contribute to TVET system including development of competency standards, CBT curricula, and high-quality learning materials catering to needs of the sector. Capacity of RMG factories was strengthened to design and implement in-house training system through training of trainers, training of assessors, and training of supervisors while attention was also paid to occupational safety and health practices as well as improving overall productivity of the workers. As explained in the above chapters, there are already signs of replication and scaling up of training systems established in Construction and RMG sectors of Bangladesh while it is also scalable and replicable for other countries.