Working for a higher skilled garments sector in Bangladesh: Using corporate social responsibility to bridge the gap between training and employment

Gazipur Technical School and College (TSC) today celebrated the graduation of the first batch and the inauguration of the second batch of sewing machine operator trainees in a new corporate social responsibility partnership. The partnership brings together Gazipur TSC, CARE Bangladesh, IDLC, Far East Knitting, Interfab Shirt Manufacturing, TRZ Group and the International Labour Organisation with the goal of improving the skills of Bangladeshi workers.

Press release | Gazipur, Bangladesh | 02 July 2013
DHAKA (ILO News) - Gazipur TSC is one of a growing number of public training institutions in Bangladesh to embrace public/private partnerships as a way to improve the quality and relevance of their training programs.

Hari Pada Das from the ILO welcomed attendees, saying “this is another big achievement for skills reform in Bangladesh. Industries and training institutions working closer together means improved courses and guaranteed job placements after graduation; students can go straight from learning into earning."

Far East Knitting is one of the organizations which will be providing work placements to the new trainees. Faiyaz Khan, Director of Far East Knitting and Dyeing, said “graduates from this program will be equipped to enter the work force at operator level with a decent salary and quality skills. We are looking forward to welcoming these new graduates in our factory and have committed to providing future placements as well."

The course is based on a model which the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) would like to see replicated across the country, in all training institutions and industries. Babar Ali, Director of Planning, DTE, said “historically, there has been a gap between the government and industry in Bangladesh. This is changing and we are working closer to support industry, and moving together to achieve a higher skilled Bangladesh. I urge other industries and institutions to follow this example."

Mr. HM Ziaul Hoque Khan, Deputy Managing Director and CFO of IDLC Finance, said “at the IDLC, we focus on doing business with a social conscience. We are proud to support Gazipur TSC and the other organisations in this partnership and we would like to see replication of this approach across Bangladesh. We will be actively encouraging our clients in the garments industry to link with training institutions and assisting them where we can to employ skilled graduates."

CARE organised for fourteen of the students to come from North Bengal, the poorest region in Bangladesh. “We care for extreme and marginalised families, and this is a very good model for improving their quality of life. Changing the way we look at recruitment and focusing on proactively skilling people rather than employing them off the street will have huge benefits, for individuals, for families and for the country” said Matin Sardar, Team Leader of the Social & Economic Transformation of the Ultra Poor (SETU), CARE Bangladesh.

The model which Gazipur TSC used to create their program was developed by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Project, an initiative of the Government of Bangladesh, funded by the European Union and executed with the support of the ILO.

For technical information please contact Hari Pada Das 017 303 592 55
For media information please contact: Sarah-Jane Saltmarsh 017 389 379 85