ILO supports Bangladesh’s first international conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training

A three-day international conference on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Sustainable Development was held from April 30 to May 2 in Dhaka, with representatives from 17 countries attending.

News | 08 April 2015
Honourable Prime Minister opens the conference
Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, inaugurated the event, what she termed as the first of its kind in the country. She spoke about the potential of TVET in turning the country's manpower into its greatest asset and how she hopes to accomplish this through expanding vocational education and establishing one technical school in each district.

A number of other key government officials were also present, including the Honorable Minister of Education, Mr Nurul Islam Nahid, MP.

The conference was jointly organised by Institute of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh and Colombo Plan Staff College, along with co-partners Directorate of Technical EducationBangladesh Technical Education Board and ILO, supported by Ministry of Education, Canada and National Skills Development Council.

ILO representative Arthur Shears said;
We have seen significant successes in reforming Bangladesh’s skills development system over the past five years, such as the approval of the National Skills Development Policy, but there is still a lot more to be done on the ground.

This conference is an excellent opportunity to promote the government’s agenda of a nationally recognised system for skills, as in addition to international guests, there are principals from over 400 TVET institutions across Bangladesh in attendance.

The event brought together a total of over 1000 researchers, practitioners, educationists and entrepreneurs from small and medium sized enterprises and industrial sectors. Topics discussed included reorienting TVET policy and barriers towards education for sustainable development; innovative practices and approaches in technical teachers’ education; green and clean technology approaches in industry; accreditation and cross mobility for TVET workforce; research, monitoring and evaluation in TVET; and its social and professional integration.

According to the World Bank, Bangladesh is expected to have 78 million workers in 2025, up from 56.7 million in 2010. The country will only be able to take advantage of this demographic dividend if it invests in skills development however; current estimates by the World Bank say that a four-fold increase is needed in skills training.

The ILO is currently working with the Government of Bangladesh to reform the skills development system through two major initiatives; a CAD19.5 million grant from Canada for the Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity (B-SEP) Project, and a Euro 14 million grant from the European Union for the TVET Reform in Bangladesh Project.

See the National Skills Development Policy (English/Bangla) here