The futuristic concept of “Skills for the 21st Century”, the following key thematic areas and related sub-themes have been selected for the Conference:
i) Global Context:Working Towards a Better and Higher Skilled Human Capital in the Developing Countries – The transformation from abundant cheap wages to productivity as the basis of competitive and comparative advantage in the developing nations can be achieved by skilling the work force. The session will discuss global context of changes in areas of ideology, technology, and business outlook affecting economy, employment and employability, and the reform needs in policy and institutional areas. Discussion will also take place on the emerging trends in the shifts in areas of competence, from technical to liberal arts and humanities, from specific to general, and the changing priorities of the human societies from rapid industrialization to environmental conservation, from aggressive consumerism to sustainable production and consumption, from rapid growth to responsible business, and so forth, and associated human capital development needs for these global shifts. The expected outcome of this session will be to identify the prospects, challenges, investment needs, and way forward towards a better and higher skilled South Asia.

Session1: Sub-Themes Conversation Points
Global shifts in skills and competency requirements
  • From technical skills to analytical skills
  • From engineering to liberal arts
  • From assertive to cooperative
  • From linear reasoning to critical thinking
  • From specific specialization to social and interpersonal competence
  • From individual performance to team appraisal

From hourly  to productivity basis wage

Investment and intervention requirements
  • Investment requirement and funding sources
  • Business cases for sustainable skills financing models
  • Policy and institutional reforms
  • Improving coherence between national objectives and implementation mechanism

Containing jobless growth and rising unemployment


ii) Technology, Innovation and Skills: Riding the Wave of Industry 4.0 and Beyond – With the emergence of modern technologies and systems, such as artificial intelligence, blockchains, robotics and telecommunications, many jobs will either be substituted or the way they are executed will change. This session will focus on the emerging technologies that are revolutionizing the future of work and the skills that will be important in preparing for the rapidly changing job market for now and the future. Additionally, there will be discussions on the continuing education, skills obsolesce, emergence of human and interpersonal skills priorities, innovative thinking, motivation, and leadership oriented training. The socio-economic challenges of possibly looming unemployment due to increasing levels of automation and emergence of capital intensive new industrial sectors, in the global context of protectionist trade regimes, aging demography versus apathy towards migrant workforce, and shifting economic production bases, will be discussed in this session.

Session 2: Sub-Themes Conversation Points
Advancements of new ideologies affecting the nature and structure of business
  • From rapid industrialization to environmental conservation
  • From aggressive consumerism to sustainable production and consumption
  • From rapid growth to responsible business

From industrial scale to bespoke

Industry 4.0 and emerging technology in the world of work
  • Future of labor intensive manufacturing jobs in the advent of 3-D printing and robotics
  • From mass-market to niche market
  • From electronics to artificial intelligence
  • From automation to robotics

From human to cybernetics


iii) Skills Development for the Informal Economy:Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid – Informal workers constitute the major share of the workforce (often over 80%) in the developing world. Characterized generally by low wage, low productivity and irregular work, these workers have limited opportunities for upward job mobility and income progression. Discussion will be held on how skills development be leveraged to ensure more and better-quality jobs for the billions of workers at the bottom of the workforce. This session will explore the policy options and best practices that can be leveraged in skilling up the informal sector and providing opportunities for informal workers to be included in the mainstream global supply chain of goods and services. Inclusive, affordable, and outreaching skills training, recognition of prior learning, and continuing education for marginal workers and workers in the informal economy, will be focused in this session. Results of empirical studies on the potential of enhanced contribution from the informal economy as a result of skills development will be showcased.

Session 3: Sub-Themes Conversation Points
Outreach challenges for skilling the informal sector
  • Status of recognition of prior learning scheme in Bangladesh
  • Showcasing the best practices in reaching out to the informal sector
  • Continuing education models

Financing mechanisms for skills training to suit informal sector


iv) Migration and Skills: Jobs, Mobility and Skills – International migration for economic opportunities is an ever-growing phenomenon that has important development implications for both sending and receiving countries. Migrant workers equipped with skills, training and information are more likely to experience better income gains and quality work experiences compared to low skilled and untrained migrant workers. This session will explore the prospects and challenges of skills training for international migrants and the potential role of quality assurance and skills recognition for workforce mobility. This session will also show-case successful examples and best practices in using labor market intelligence in the destination countries, and adjusting the skills training curricula, facilities, and agenda accordingly in the home countries.

Session 4: Sub-Themes Conversation Points
Aligning domestic TVET system with the skills demand in the overseas labor markets
  • Need for labor market intelligence units to monitor skills demands and trends in the priority destination countries

Remediation of the challenges of non-recognition of skills certificates in overseas markets/Obtaining accreditation for domestic TVET system

Challenges of employers in retaining trained employees, and finding local experts in technical and managerial positions
  • Experience sharing of costly technology oriented training programs resulting in brain-drain due to higher pay overseas

Skills-shortage in domestic market in managerial and technical positions and outflow of remittance by expatriate workers


v) Building Institutions and Leveraging Partnerships:Co-Create and Collaborate in Skills Development – Collaboration and partnerships between national and international institutions are becoming an increasingly effective means to address challenges in the delivery of high quality skills training across the globe. This session will highlight the examples of best practices of successful institutional partnerships, e.g., public-private, national-international, corporate-academic, North-South in co-creation and collaboration on skills training initiatives. Various successful financing mechanism for sustainable skills development from around the globe will be discussed. Issues on industry-academia gaps and successful models for resolving them will be showcased. The expected result will be to find models of partnership and financing platforms for future engagement among bilateral and multilateral organizations, national and international institutions, and public and private sector stakeholders.

Session 5: Sub-Themes Conversation Points
Institutional capacity building by partnership
  • Showcasing international best practices
  • Private-Public Partnership initiatives in human capital development (Bangladesh example: UNDP-led initiative)

Mobilizing private sector finances – modalities of cooperation

North-South and South-South cooperation in knowledge transfer
  • Experience sharing

Exchange programs between TVET and management institutions

Themes, and Chair, Moderator and Panelists

Session 1: Global Context – Towards a Better and Higher Skilled Human Capital in the Developing Countries
Role Name Designation Organization Country Talking Points
Moderator Option 1: Mr. Syed Nasim Manzur Former President MCCI Bangladesh
Option 2: Mr. Asif Ibrahim Former President DCCI Bangladesh
1. Mr. Sungsup Ra South Asia Social Sector Director ADB HQ Philippines ADB’s upcoming regional and country programs on reforming education and TVET systems
2. Mr. Shiro Nakata Senior Education Economist World Bank Challenges of shifting focus from technical to analytical, from engineering to liberal arts, etc.
3. Mrs. Sarah Pierenkemper Economist German Economic Institute Germany German experience in handling skills market forecast
4. Mr. Yoo Jae Young Director Korean Employers’ Federation Republic of Korea Korean initiatives on coping with global shifts in competency requirements
5. Dr. Valdew Singh Director Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore How to design education & skills program to accommodate changing focus from specific specialization to social and interpersonal competence
6. Mr. Faruk Ahmed Executive Chairman NSDA Bangladesh NSDA’s future readiness to revamp management education and TVET in Bangladesh
7. Dr. Michael Fung Deputy CEO Skills Future ILO TBD
8. Mr. Salahuddin Kasam Khan Former Co-Chair, NSDC A K Khan & Co. Ltd. Bangladesh Showcasing PPP initiative for Chittagong Institute of Management
9. Mr. Mahbubul Alam President  CCCI Bangladesh Institutional support for private sector fund mobilization
10. Ms. Vandana Bhatnagar Chief Program Officer NSDC, India – Skills Finance India Experience sharing on NSDC models of skills financing in India
11. Mr. Abhishek Singh Vice-President ILFS-Education India Experience sharing on ILFS models of skills financing in India
12. Dr. Sami Ahmed Component Team Leader A2i Bangladesh TBD





Session 2:Technology, Innovation and Skills: Riding the Wave of Industry 4.0 and Beyond
Role Name Designation Organization Country Talking Points
Moderator Option 1: Mr. Shafquat Haider Director FBCCI Bangladesh
Option 2: Professor Dr. Mohammad Kaikobad Professor BUET Bangladesh
1. Mr. Sunhwa Lee Principal Social Sector Specialist ADB HQ Philippines Education & Employment reform initiatives by ADB
2. Mr. Samuel Ang Director of Entrepreneurship Development center Temasek Polytechnic Singapore Entrepreneurship opportunities in the perspective of global changes in business ideologies
3. Mr. Jalal Ahmed Project Director SEIP Bangladesh Employment creation recommendations in rural non-farm sectors
4. Mr. Habibullah N. Karim Managing Director Technohaven Bangladesh IT skills requirements in the era of big data and social media analytics
5. Mr. Osama Taseer President DCCI Bangladesh Success story-DCCI Business Institute on supply chain management training courses
6. Mr. Francis de Silva Toursim Expert Sri Lanka Tourism skills requirements in Bangladesh market
7. Ms. Judy Emily Director Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore TBD
8. Dr. Lim See Yew Senior Director of Engineering ITE, Singapore Singapore Opportunities arising from Industry 4.0
9. Mr. Md. Mostafiz Uddin Denim Expert Ltd. Denim Expert Ltd. Bangladesh Fashion designing skills requirements
10. Professor Dr. Md. Zafar Iqbal Professor, CSE Shahjalal University Bangladesh Coping up with youth employment creation challenges in Bangladesh context in a globalized world
11. Dr. Arif Dowla Managing Director ACI Foods Limited Bangladesh Agro-food industry’s skills requirements in 21st century context
12. Dr. Iris Pfeiffer Managing Director Research Institute for VTN Germany Preparatory strategies for sustained employability in the context of Industry 4.0
13. Mr. Anthony Woon TVET expert Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore Singapore initiatives on aligning TVET systems with changing skills requirements
14. Dr. Munaz Noor Ahmed Vice Chancellor Bangabandhu Digital University Bangladesh TBD





Session 3: Skills Development for Informal Economy – Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid
Role Name Designation Organization Country Talking Points
Moderator Option 1: Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman Executive Director PPRC Bangladesh
Option 2: Dr. Kazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad Chairman PKSF Bangladesh
1. Mr. Jawed Habib Indian Hairstylist Persona India Skills training initiatives in life-style industry
2. Mr. Asif Ibrahim Vice-Chairman NewAge Group Bangladesh Initiatives in skilling the RMG workers
3. Dr. Binayak Sen Research Director BIDS Bangladesh Outreach challenges for skilling the informal sector
4. Mr. A B M Azad Project Director STEP, TMED Bangladesh Showcasing best practices – RPL initiatives under STEP
5. Mr. A B M Khorshed Alam Former CEO Former NSDC Bangladesh Experience sharing on skilling the informal sector
6. Mr. Shinsaku Nomura World Bank Dubai TBD
7. Mr. Asif Saleh Senior Director BRAC Bangladesh IT & ITES applications in capacity building of informal sector
8. Mr. Prerana Langa Managing Director YES Foundation India CSR fund utilization to finance skills development initiatives
9. Representative bKash Bangladesh Showcasing mobile money transfer and e-commerce applications
10. Mr. Kishore Kumar Singh CTA B-SEP, ILO Bangladesh
11. Mr. Fahim Mashroor CEO Bangladesh Showcasing experience in job placement services targeted at informal sector
12. Ms. Chunyan  Wang Deputy Secretary General National E-com. VTES Committee China Experience sharing on e-commerce platforms in China benefitting informal sector employees
13. Mr. Khairul Islam Consultant SEIP Bangladesh TBD
14. Mr. Mirza Nurul Gani Swapan Chairman ISC-Informal Bangladesh TBD



Session 4: Migration and Skills – Jobs, Mobility, and Skills
Role Name Designation Organization Country Talking Points
Moderator Option 1: Mr. Selim Reza DG BMET Bangladesh
Option 2: Mr. Farooq Ahmed Secretary-General Bangladesh Employers’ Federation Bangladesh
1. Professor C. R. Abrar Professor DU, RMMRU Bangladesh Skills development and remittance
2. Mr. Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman Secretary General BAIRA Bangladesh Gaps in National Quality Framework
3. Ms. Rahnuma S. Khan Migration Expert ILO Bangladesh Need for labor market intelligence units in major overseas labor markets
4. Mr. Giorge Gigauri Country Chief IOM Bangladesh Bangladesh Better migration management and skills development
5. Mr. Nurul Amin Proprietor Montage Training Institute Bangladesh Non-recognition of private sector training certificates
6. Dr. Munirus Saleheen Additional Secretary MoEWOE Bangladesh Current and future initiatives on monitoring skills requirements in overseas markets
7. Engr. Md. Sakawat Ali Principal BKTTC Bangladesh TBD
8. Mr. Siddiqur Rahman President BGMEA Bangladesh Challenges in finding qualified local experts in RMG sector
9. Mr. Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin) President FBCCI Bangladesh Skills-shortage in domestic market in managerial and technical positions and outflow of remittance by expatriate workers
10. Mr. A K M A Hamid President IDEB Bangladesh Challenges in retaining trained employees
11. Dr. Rozhan Idrus Professor of Open and Distance Learning & Technology Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Malaysian experience of retention challenge for employers
12. Ms. Esther Bay Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore TBD
13. Mr. Stephen Yee Assistant Executive Director Singapore National Employers’ Federation Singapore TBD



Session 5: Building Institutions and Leveraging Partnerships – Co-Create and Collaborate in Skills Development
Role Name Designation Organization Country Talking Points
Moderator Dr. Mokhlesur Rahman Senior Operations Officer World Bank Bangladesh
1. Mr. S. M. Ghulam Faooque Sr. Secretary Ministry of Local Government Bangladesh Partnership and collaboration prospects with Ministry of Local Government
2. Mr. Md. Sohorab Hossain Sr. Secretary Ministry of Education Bangladesh Partnership and collaboration prospects with Ministry of Education
3. Mr. Muhammad Abdullah Sr. Secretary Ministry of Y. & Sports Bangladesh Partnership and collaboration prospects with Ministry of Youth & Sports
4. Mr. N M Zeaul Alam Secretary ICT Division Bangladesh Partnership and collaboration prospects with Ministry of Planning
5. Mr. Md. Alamgir Secretary TMED Bangladesh Partnership and collaboration prospects with TMED
6. Mr. Abdur Rouf Talukder Secretary Ministry of Finance Bangladesh Partnership and collaboration prospects with Ministry of Finance
7. Ms. Afroza Khan Secretary Ministry of Labour & E. Bangladesh Partnership and collaboration prospects with Ministry of Labour & Employment
8. Mr. Md. Abdul Halim Secretary in Charge Ministry of Industries Bangladesh Partnership and collaboration prospects with Ministry of Industries
9. Mr. Md. Nasiruzzaman Secretary in Charge Ministry of Agriculture Bangladesh Partnership and collaboration prospects with Ministry of Agriculture
10. Ms. Rownaq Jahan Secretary in Charge MEWOE Bangladesh Partneship and collaboration prospects with Ministry of Expatriates Welfare & Overseas Employment
11. Mr. Daryl Lim Deputy CEO Cetglobal Pte Ltd., Singapore Institutional partnership and collaboration with Bangladeshi counterpart
12. Mr. Fook Yen Chong Social Sector Specialist ADB HQ Philippines Possible partnership with private sector institutions and ADB in Bangladesh
13. Ms. Weiqun Tang Principal Guangzhou ITTC China Potential partnership in Bangladesh
14. Mr. Yangjing Yang President Yunnan Traffic China Potential partnership in Bangladesh
15. Mr. Masroor Reaz IFC, WB Group Bangladesh Potential partnership in Bangladesh
16. Mr. Manas Bhattacharya Specialist Skills21 Bangladesh
17. Mr. Susantha Suraweera TVET Quality Framework  Expert Sri Lanka Hospitality skills requirements in a fast changing world -eco-tourism, boutique or theme tourism


–Updating is going on.