Amir starts work in first year of training through public private partnership

Amir’s parents are farmers, living a small rural village in the Faridpur district of Bangladesh. Traditionally, this would mean that Amir would also become a farmer. He was the first person in his family who had completed secondary education though, and he wanted to do something different.

Article | 08 April 2015
Amir wanted to pursue higher education, but he needed something that would lead straight to a job. He chose technical education. He wanted to learn a skill that everyone would need;

“I chose printing because it is everywhere, and the demand for it is growing. In Bangladesh, printed packaging is still new, but more and more printed products are being created every day,” said Amir.

Amir was admitted in his first choice, the Graphic Arts Institute. He moved to Dhaka and was achieving good results in his studies, but his parent’s money soon ran out. They took a loan from a family member, and Amir tried several part-time jobs, but nothing could bring in enough money to cover living in Dhaka.

Amir approached us after just six months of studying and told us that he was going to leave the course and move back to Faridpur because of financial difficulties. We were disappointed because he was showing a lot of potential, and our institute had just partnered with a big printing house - so we decided to try and get him a job linked to his training
-said Mofakarul Islam, Instructor, Printing, Graphic Arts Institute
The Graphic Arts Institute, a government-run institution, had started their first public private partnership with Shamustshuk Printers Ltd one month before, so the institute decided to approach the printers. Within a few weeks Amir was employed part-time. The attention to detail and dedication he showed in his training was put to use – he became a junior quality controller, and an important link between the company and the institute;

“I use what I have learned to ensure the quality of printing jobs. In the institute I have to pay closer attention to the practical side and at work I have to pay closer attention to the theoretical side. My learning helps my work and my work also helps my learning, and I am able to afford to live in Dhaka now” said Amir.

Part-time professional work is not common in Bangladesh, but industries and institutions working closer together are now starting to change that, making it easier for trainees and employers to connect.

Amir is the only first year trainee who has a professional part-time job, but many other trainees have also started pursuing professional work beside their studies, says Mr Islam;

“We have always structured our course in two shifts so that trainees can work if needed. People have always taken advantage of this, but previously they would be informal jobs like pulling rickshaws or running street stands,” said Mr Islam.

“This institute has always had a good reputation with employers; I sought admission here because they have a record that no student graduates without a good job. As I am in my final year, I am also doing part-time work with Nestle – so I have practical experience in and out of the institute. I’m confident that after I graduate I’ll be able to start my own business easily and then I want to employ trainees from this institute”, 20 year old Asif Topur, a final year trainee said.

Dr Sheikh Abu Reza spoke about the changes he has seen in the institute since he joined as principal;

“The institution has seen a lot of changes since the new national skills development system started; new industry-standard machinery, equipment and multimedia facilities, short courses based on industry demand, in and out of house training, relationships with industry, new learning materials and a website where trainees can access their course materials online. We are all excited to keep improving, as trainees, as trainers and as an institution.”

Public private partnership between publicly funded TVET institutions and private enterprises is an integral part of the new skills development system.

The ILO identified the Graphic Arts Institute and created a mechanism for partnership that resulted in the signing of an MOU between the Institute and Shamutshuk Printers Limited on 3 May 2015 in presence of Secretary, Ministry of Education, Government of Bangladesh. The Graphic Arts Institute is the first of five technical institutions that have been selected by the Directorate of Technical Education to implement public private partnerships.

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