Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP)

Bangladesh is endeavoring to move to a higher growth trajectory by removing binding constraints. Mega projects are underway to tackle transport and energy bottlenecks. This is a good beginning but not enough. To accelerate economic growth from the current 6% to 8% and above, the government is trying to address the skills shortage—one of the key binding constraints. Skills development requires a two-pronged approach. First, it must be anchored in foundational skills that come from high-quality schooling combined with relevant vocational and technical skills to capitalize on the demographic dividend. Second, it requires scaling up skills training by four to eight times the current annual training capacity.

With development partners’ support, the government has embarked upon Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP). The Program will support reforms in skills development anchored in the National Skills Development Policy (NSDP), 2011. Under overall supervision of the Ministry of Finance the program will support large-scale private sector involvement and promote public–private partnership, which is critical to meet existing and future labor market needs and to reduce the skills gap.

The market responsive inclusive skills training program has engaged public training institutions of three ministries, industry associations, PKSF, and Bangladesh Bank Small and Medium Enterprise Department to train about 260,000 persons in the first phase in six priority sectors, with an average job placement of 70% targeting, among others, people from disadvantaged groups including women and persons with disabilities. In three phases the ten year program will train about 1.5 million people in 15 priority sectors (RMG, textiles, knitwear, leather and footwear, construction, light engineering, shipbuilding, hospitality, food processing and health care, etc.) strengthening along the way the training institutions’ quality assurance and assessment system.

Initial reports suggest that there is serious skill gap at higher levels of employment including supervisors, mid and top-level managers, trainers as well as entrepreneurs. In addition there are an estimated 200,000 foreigners working in industries in Bangladesh remitting annually $5 billion. The bulk of these foreign workers are supervisors and managers in the garment sector.

SEIP Project, Finance Division of the Ministry of Finance would like to work with leading universities in the country to establish 'Executive Development Centers' (EDC) to implement a nine month training program for mid and higher level managers.

The concept of Executive Development Center (EDC) used here will be an entity that will support special skill development directed at creating world class business executives. A total of 2,250 trainees over a three year period for selected sectors should be aimed under this program during the second phase of SEIP. The program with universities will be continued in the future under successive phases of SEIP depending on its outcome and demand. The SEIP will continue up to 2024 giving it a long term perspective. 

The main focus of the university Executive Development Center should be on mid- to higher-level managers. Training programs will be developed in close collaboration with industry and other stakeholders. The programs will involve lectures and group discussions in class room; virtual work place and real work place environment learning and knowledge sharing conducted by teachers from universities and industry representatives with substantial experience and expert industry knowledge (including case study presentations); and engagement in the actual work setting for practical experience and knowledge application. A broad consultation process including adaptation of international best practices will go into curriculum development, quality control, assessment and certification.

A.                Scope of Services

The Executive Development Program will be implemented under Tranche 2 to develop mid and higher level managers in four sectors/subsectors namely Garment, Textile, Knitwear, and Leather & Footwear. Initially two private and two public universities will be engaged in this program. The universities are Dhaka University (IBA), Bangladesh University of Textile, East-west University and BRAC University. A team from each of the four universities consisting of three members of which the Chief Coordinator will be a Professor and two Coordinators will be in the rank of Associate Professor/Assistant Professors – will do the preparatory work. The main purposes of this assignment are: (i) to assess the industry requirements for managerial training; (ii) to develop customized curricula and training materials for the executive development training program; (iii) to develop a comprehensive business plan incorporating detailed modalities of implementing the above training program; and (iv) to accomplish other preparatory work required to launch the above program.