In South Asia, 80-90% of the total labour force is engaged in the informal economy. In Bangladesh, 87% of workers hold informal jobs, including wage labourers, self-employed persons, unpaid family labour, and piece-rate workers.
Learners are often exploited, as unstructured apprenticeships can continue for years without learners being equipped with any real skills. In Bangladesh, the government, non-government and private sector, supported by the ILO, are working to change this, by introducing structured pathways to learn skills.
“The TVET Reform Project is introducing new ways to improve skills training in the informal sector. We have had a number of successes since the project began in 2007, one of the most recent being the graduation of 1000 skilled apprentices in the informal sector with the help of BRAC and UNICEF” said Arthur Shears, Chief Technical Advisor, TVET Reform Project.
“What we have learnt from Bangladesh on this mission will definitely help skills development in Pakistan. We have similar training systems, but Pakistan has not yet developed a National Skills Development Policy. One thing that really stood out for us was seeing industry, non-government and government organizations working together to make the best use of all the infrastructure they have to skill young people in the informal sector.
"Bangladesh is also slowly shifting from curriculum-based learning to competency-based learning and we want to do that in Pakistan. It is also encouraging to see so many women engaged in Bangladesh’s labour force” said Nabeela Saeed Kazmi, Chairperson, Trade Testing Board, Pakistan.
The high-level officials have met with representatives of the Bangladesh Technical Education Board, National Skills Development Council, Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training, Directorate of Technical Education, BRAC and a number of informal employers and training institutions.
The TVET Reform Project is an initiative of the Government of Bangladesh, assisted by the International Labour Organisation and funded by the European Union. The goal is to ensure Bangladesh’s competitiveness in the global market and reduce poverty by improving the quality of vocational educational and training.
International Labour Organization
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