DHAKA, July 8 2010 — The Government of Bangladesh today signed a credit agreement worth US$79 million with the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessional arm for the Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP). The project, approved by the World Bank Board on June 11 2010, will assist Bangladesh in developing its human capital resources.
Under this initiative, public and private training institutions will be strengthened to improve the skills of the workforce. The project will focus on improving the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system to develop high-quality workers who will be able to respond to the needs of both the domestic and international labor markets.
“An increasingly skilled labor force is vital to accelerate economic growth in Bangladesh” said Zahid Hussain, Acting World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh. “Enhancing vocational training will help the country to fully tap into overseas employment opportunities. Skilled workers can then command higher wages in international markets and lead to an increase in Bangladesh’s remittance earning.”
In addition to enhancing quality and access to various vocational programs, STEP will also foster private sector participation in institutional management. Institutions will be empowered to achieve administrative, academic, and financial autonomy to boost learning outcomes for trainees, including those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
The agreement was signed at the Economic Relations Division. Mr. Arastoo Khan, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division and Dr. Zahid Hussain, World Bank Acting Country Director, signed on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank respectively.
The credits from the International Development Association have 40-year maturity with a 10-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 percent.