Uttoron – Skills for better life

Bangladesh has a high rate of unemployment and underemployment in Asia. Rural areas in Bangladesh have the highest number of unemployed youths. The demand for agro-based and conventional jobs decreased and industry and trade-based jobs increased. Uttoron’s adaptive approach for promoting community-based trainings on formal employment and self-employment opportunities highly encourages youth, especially women and minority (ethnic or religious) community members, to participate in training. Skills development is a crucial issue for a developing country like Bangladesh, which aims to become a middle-income country by 2021.

syhet, Bangladesh
habiganj, bangladesh
Project duration
2016 - 2022

The project

Uttoron – skills for better life is a skills development project, funded by Chevron under Bangladesh Partnership Initiative (BPI) and implemented by Swisscontact.

The project aims to support the youths by providing training on trades that matches the current industry demand and facilitate job placement suitable for the targeted beneficiaries. Prior to providing skills training, Uttoron project creates awareness amongst the community members about the benefits and opportunities of skills training, selects the right aspired candidate through an intense screening process based on many selection criteria, and organizes a two-day long motivational workshop to build self-confidence and enhance motivation of the participants, and at the same time assess their level of aspiration. Based on the assessment results candidates are selected for skills training on their preferred trade. This process of informing the youths and selecting right candidates is also known as Boot-camp, which is one of the unique interventions of Uttoron project. After completing training course in the designated trade, Uttoron facilitates certification and job placements of trained individuals for gainful employment. Along with preparing the trainees for employment, Uttoron project also develops the capacity of Training Service Providers (TSPs) to deliver quality skills training. Uttoron’s inclusive approach encourages women and minority (ethnic and religious) community members to participate. Moreover, Uttoron project works closely with the government agencies and involves the local government authorities and the community to align the project objectives with the vision of government and the need of the community's people.

In phase-I (2016-2019), Uttoron project supported 1,400 community youths from three north-eastern district of Bangladesh Sylhet, Habiganj and Moulavi Bazar by providing training on industry demanded skills and positioning them for new or improved employment opportunities. To continue this momentum of development, Chevron has extended the project for further three years (phase-II, 2019-2022).

Project Goals

In phase-II, Uttoron project aims to increase the employability of 2,000 community youths of Sylhet and Dhaka region. In addition to that, Uttoron aims to facilitate the establishment of a permanent training centre in Habiganj, and assist with upgrading a government-run national level welding institute to offer training in advance welding skills. When gender or ethnic discrimination are often prevalent, Uttoron encourages the participation of women and people from minority community into skills training.

Project partner

  • Training Partners


Results until July 2021

  • 405 trainees graduated from the training programme.
  • 26% female graduates in the training.
  • 72% graduates from the first round of training received jobs.
  • A new trade, namely the Packaging and Finishing Operation trade, was introduced and nationally standardized and is in the government approval process.

Financing partners

The primary financing partner for this project is Chevron. This project constitutes part of Swisscontact’s Development Programme. The Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC) under the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) commits to covering up to 30% of the costs of the entire Development Programme. 

Self-dependence through skills development – The “Uttoron” Project
Giaul Islam, Shiuli Akhter, and Al-Imran recount the positive ways in which the “boot camp” helped them to start their professional lives.


Upskilling and reskilling, Labour market insertion
Curriculum Development Workshop with Experts for Advanced Welding Training 
Uttoron organised an advanced welding curriculum development workshop with experts at Khulna Shipyard (KSY) 
Labour market insertion, Upskilling and reskilling
Uttoron: Towards A New Journey
Agreement signing ceremony between Uttoron and Khulna Shipyard (KSY) was held on 27 September 2021 to introduce internationally standardized advanced welding training first time in Bangladesh
Upskilling and reskilling, Labour market insertion
Swisscontact team meets with NGO Affairs Bureau Director General
Informing the honourable DG of NGOAB regarding Swisscontact Bangladesh's operation and activities