‘Skills Portal (skills.gov.bd) has been inaugurated in the first session of the National Apprenticeship Conference 2018 organized by a2i at the White Orchid Hotel in Cox’s Bazar. Chief Guest of the Conference, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Mr. Mustafa Jabbar inaugurated the Skills Portal, an initiative of a2i with the support of ICT Division, UNDP and USAID. Inspector General of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments Md. Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan, Director General of Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training Md. Salim Reza, Director General of Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Center (BITAC) Dr. Md. Mafizur Rahman, Director (Program) of Department of Social Services Abu Mohammad Yusuf (Additional Secretary), Director (PIU) of Directorate of Technical Education Md. Wahidul Islam and Chairman of Bangladesh Technical Education Board Dr. Md. Mostafizur Rahman were present at the inauguration ceremony as special guests.
Skills development activities of a2i in different sectors is Significance in achieving sustainable development Goal (SDG). Skills Portal (skills.gov.bd) is an online platform for regular coordination and mentoring of various a2i skills developments programs; assessing the demand of skilled manpower in the industry; and connecting skill development organizations with various industries. There are three stakeholders of the portal: industrial establishments, skill development organizations and unemployed men and women. Through this portal the industrial organizations notify their skills requirement, the skill development organizations register for their training, and unemployed men and women get all the information about their skill development. There are information about apprentice recruitment process, standard technical trades, and various opportunities for the apprentices listed in the Skills portal. Besides, the portal includes the names of the apprentice recruiting industries, number of position, eligibility and skill development log book, requirement of different technical and vocational training, training related information, application of training and the methods of employment after training. Already 32,000 unemployed men and women have been trained through this portal.
Mr. Mustafa Jabbar, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology, Government of Bangladesh said, “I am grateful to a2i for leading the digital transformation in the country from the Union level. Bangladesh is gradually heading towards the industrial economy from the agricultural one. This has resulted in many changes in demand for skills. There was a lack of coordination between various departments and agencies before, meeting the new skill demand in line with the new technologies. As the Skills Portal brings all skill development activities under its online platform, lack of coordination is past. I hope that all the industries and partner organizations involved in skill development will continue to cooperate to make Skills Portal more advanced and consolidated.”
Project Director of a2i Md. Mustafizur Rahman, PAA said, “There is no alternative to develop skilled manpower and ensure proper employment to implement the Vision 2041 of the Honorable Prime Minister. In order to successfully implement the apprenticeship program across the country, coordinated efforts of different ministries, departments, industries, skill development organizations and development partners are needed.”
In the second session of the conference, round table meeting was held on ‘the role of development partner organizations for expansion of apprenticeship program’ chaired by a2i Project Director Md. Mustafizur Rahman.
Among others, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, Farah Kabir; UNDP Democratic Governance Portfolio Manager (oic), Mahmuda Afroz; Program Director of Oxfam, M Badi Akhter; Senior Development Advisor of Global Affairs Canada Riful Jannat; Skills and Employment Director of Sudokkho, Suresh Mahto; and Program Officer of B–SEP Project, International Labor Organization (ILO) Tanjel Ahsan discussed as panelists. Senior Officials from the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, Cox’s Bazar District Administration, Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Center, Department of Youth Development, Directorate of Technical Education, Bangladesh Technical Education Board and Department of Social Services; and different media personnel were present in the Conference as well.