Skills dev of Bangladesh’s 1.5 mn RMG workers on cards

Dhaka, Nov 28 – The government has taken an initiative to conduct a training programme for the skills development of some 15 lakh RMG workers, aiming to ensure sustainable development of the sector and facing the challenges ahead.To provide training to the RMG workers, an eight-member ‘Training Conducting Committee’, headed by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) director general, has been formed to find the way to conduct the training program.
The other members of the committee are from the Textile cell of the Commerce Ministry, the Department of Labour, Labour and Employment Ministry, Department of Textile, BEPZA, BGMEA, BKMEA, and deputy director (Compliance and Monitoring Cell) of the EPB.
The committee has been formed recently as per the RMG Training Policy 2019 which will conduct training-related activities and select the training providing institutions. It will determine the process for enlisting garment workers for providing training.
It will send the list to the respective organisations stating the time and particular training programme, for enlisting the particular worker who is continuing his/her job in a garment.
The committee will amend, include and approve the module that will be formulated by the training providing organisation.
It will publish advertisement in print or electronic media about the training programme.
To review the training activities the committee will have to sit at least once in every two months. But the meeting can be held any time.
If necessary, the committee can co-opt any representative from any concerned office or organisation.
Currently some 40 lakh people are working in the RMG sector while there is immense scope to employ more skilled workforce here.
Industry insiders think that to achieve the USD 50 billion export by 2021, there is no other scope other than enhancing skills and competence of workers in the RMG sector.
BGMEA Senior Vice President Faisal Samad said that the existing workforce itself needs retraining for improvement of their efficiency to boost the production capacity for competing in the world market.
Talking about the higher level management side, Faisal Samad, also the Managing Director Surma Garments Ltd, said that the country has a big gap in providing the workforce for the mid-level and senior level management.
“In some cases, we try to fulfil this gap with the foreign nationals,” he said.
He said there will be no need of foreigners in the upper management level if general manager level workforce are provided with necessary training.
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in a study on RMG sector last year showed that around 13 percent of the country’s garment factories employed foreign experts in the top level management who remit over USD 500 crore from Bangladesh every year.
In absence of skilled workforce, particularly in merchandising, design and marketing as well as in operation of sophisticated machines, the factory owners hire experts from outside the country to fill the gap. – UNB