DHAKA, December 22, 2010: The Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP), aimed at helping Bangladesh to develop its human capital, was launched today. The project, approved by the World Bank’s Board in June 2010, will assist the strengthening of public and private training institutions to improve the skills of the domestic and migrant workforce.
Skills development helps a country to match the rapidly changing labor market with the right skills and reduce the mismatch between the supply and demand. The project will focus on improving the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system to develop skilled workers who will be able to respond to the needs of both the domestic and international labor markets.
STEP aims to strengthen the capacity of at least 30 polytechnic institutions and 50 short-term training providers to deliver high quality training. The project will support about 160,000 student-years through “stipend for diploma” education. Further, around 50,000 students will participate in short term training courses under the project.
“Skills development plays an important role in growth and poverty reduction by increasing employability of workers” said Ellen Goldstein, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh. “Skill development through vocational training allows domestic and migrant workers to compete for better jobs and earn higher wages. This project will help Bangladesh to tap the skilled international labor market and further increase remittances.”
The project is aligned with the New Education Policy, adopted by the Government in 2009, that envisages the share of students in the vocational education system to rise to 25%. In addition to enhancing the quality and access to various vocational programs, STEP will also foster private sector participation in determining skill needs and training delivery. The project will contribute to an efficient and demand-driven technical and vocational training delivery system.
The Honorable Minister for Education, Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid was present at the chief guest in the launching ceremony. The event was attended by Government officials, civil society, and development partners along with Dr. Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Secretary for Ministry of Education and Ms. Ellen Goldstein, Country Director, World Bank Bangladesh.