KEY FINDINGS OF THE 2-DAY INTERNATIONAL SKILLS CONFERNCE 2019

March 9-10, 2019

Plenary Session:

  1. Labor productivity in Bangladesh lags behind those of other low to middle-income countries, and of the global average, and this poor performance in labor productivity is largely due to poor quality of education and low exposure to technical training of the workforce.
  2. There is an urgent need for developing actionable human capital development strategies coherent with national development policies and adaptable to changing demand from the national, regional, and international job markets.
  3. ‘Employment-led-growth’ model has been adopted as the national development model, but it is yet to be fully reflected in the annual budgets and development programs.
  4. National Skills Development Authority, National Human Resources Development Fund, Quality and Accreditation Council should be made fully functional, and the [Draft] Education Act, etc should be enacted within the shortest possible time
  5. The government, private sector, and development partners are keen on working together on issues of human capital development, but there is need for one unanimously agreed road-map to reach that coveted objective.

Technical Session 1: Global Context – Towards a better and higher skilled developing world

  1. Skills needs of the immediate future, which is 5 to 10 years from now, should be correctly assessed, and our education and TVET systems should be aligned accordingly to ensure gains from the upcoming ‘demographic dividend’; failing to do so will result in ‘demographic liability’.
  2. Apart from improvements in the quality of education at all levels, specific skills and technical training will be needed to serve the unique needs of specific industrial sectors, and we need to build our institutions accordingly.
  3. In addition to the TVET institutions, we need to develop suitable management institutions in order to have continuous capacity building opportunities for the management and technical professionals of the country.

Technical Session 2: Technology, Innovation & Skills – Riding the wave of Industry 4.0 and beyond

  1. Changing business ideologies and fast-paced shifts in technology globally are putting demands for new sets of competency and learning requirements upon the workforce, which requires serious consideration by the policymakers, business communities, and academia.
  2. At this age of automation, we need to fear the proliferation of technology, but rather should embrace it at all spheres of life and work; automation may take away routine and repetitive jobs, but not the ones that require human judgment and discretion – but we need to align our education system before we reach that comfort level.
  3. The 4th industrial revolution offers ample opportunities for creating wealth and livelihood in a cleaner and more efficient production process, but there is a need for re-training and re-skilling our workforce and coming up with innovative business ideas.

Technical Session 3: Skills Development for Informal Economy – Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid

  1. Technology-oriented applications and solutions can offer immense opportunities for the informal sector workers, but a conducive work-environment, e.g., regulatory reforms for e-commerce and electronic money transfer, IT infrastructure, and optimum monitoring should be in place.
  2. Innovating financing schemes should be introduced to mitigate the difficulties in reaching out to the informal sector.
  3. Successful initiatives, such as, recognition of prior learning, should be scaled-up to expand the outreach to the informal sector workers.

Technical Session 4: Migration and Skills – Jobs, mobility and skills

  1. There is an urgent need for setting up Labor Market Information System (LMIS) in a systematic manner; the first step can be to gather labor market intelligence on the present and future skills needs in the major destination countries for our migrant workforce, and align our TVET system accordingly.
  2. Accreditation and recognition of our skills certificate is a hurdle; we need to address this challenge by scaling up the National Quality Framework for Technical & Vocational Education, strengthening the monitoring and inspection capacity of the concerned regulatory authorities, and allowing 3rd party evaluation from time to time.
  3. Local initiatives on demand-based skills development will address the gap in national capacity building, and will earn manifold remittance inflow from destination countries.

Technical Session 5: Building Institutions and Leveraging Partnerships – Co-create and collaborate in skills development

  1. All the stakeholders signed a ‘Joint-Communique’ pledging to work together for the future skills programs.