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'Skill agenda vital for Bangladesh'
Mar '16
British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake has said that the skill agenda is vital for Bangladesh as it seeks to keep pace with countries like China and India in the global garment trade and construction industry, the Bangladeshi media has reported.

"With a growing, young population, the country has a great opportunity to drive up productivity and improve the skills of its workforce," she said at the launch of a project titled 'Sudokkho'.

The project designs and facilitates private-sector led training for more than 110,000 people from poor and marginalised groups across Bangladesh. "That's why Sudokkho is a crucial project and why the British government, through UK aid, is very proud to be its lead funder," Blake said.

Sudokkho, previously known as the Skills and Employment Programme in Bangladesh, is a five-year programme co-financed by UK aid through the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Palladium International is implementing Sudokkho in partnership with Swisscontact and the British Council.

The project's total budget is £21.63 million (approx. $32 million). Charge d' Affaires, Switzerland Embassy in Dhaka, Beate K Elsaesser said every year around 2.5 million people enter the labour market in Bangladesh, most of whom get no opportunity to acquire skills required for productive and decent work either in Bangladesh or abroad.

Switzerland provides a substantial contribution to skill development in Bangladesh to help those people, Elsaesser said. "The main goal of Swiss development cooperation is the wellbeing and empowerment of the poor and disadvantaged and therefore we are happy to see that the Sudokkho project, in addition to having a market-driven focus is duly targetting inclusion," he said.

Sudokkho Team Leader Paul Weijers said, "We recognise that in order to change the training landscape in Bangladesh and ensure work-based training has real value, we need to take a new approach that will change the training market."

The government of Bangladesh provides supervision and monitoring through the Directorate of Technical Education. The programme also works extensively to improve opportunities for women and people from socially and economically disadvantaged groups.

Working with some of the world's biggest and best-known retailers and industries, including Debenhams, Primark, Lafarge and Berger, the programme seeks to test and scale up market-driven quality skill training models within the readymade garment and construction sectors that will improve workers' career prospects and earning capacity, as well as improving productivity and efficiency for participating organisations. The programme also works extensively to improve opportunities for women and people from socially and economically disadvantaged groups. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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