Bangladesh: Skills for Employment Investment Program - Tranche 1

Sovereign Project | 42466-015 Status: Approved


ADB is helping Bangladesh strengthen skills development and increase employment in priority sectors. The first project under the program will scale up the quality and standards of training programs, focusing on six priority sectors. It will strengthen institutions in enhancing skills development and improve access to training programs, particularly for women and disadvantaged groups.

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Procurement Documents

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Project Name Skills for Employment Investment Program - Tranche 1
Project Number 42466-015
Country Bangladesh
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0391-BAN: Skills for Employment Investment Program - Tranche 1
Swiss Grant (Cofinancing) US$ 10.00 million
Loan 3131-BAN: Skills for Employment Investment Program - Tranche 1
Asian Development Fund US$ 100.00 million
Loan: Skills for Employment Investment Program - Tranche 1
World Bank US$ 79.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Education - Technical and vocational education and training

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description The investment program will support the Government of Bangladesh's reforms in skills development, anchored in the National Skills Development Policy (NSDP), 2011. It will support large-scale private sector involvement and public-private partnership, which is critical to meet existing and future labor market needs and to reduce the skills gap. This in turn is crucial for Bangladesh to move away from the 'low-skill, low-wage equilibriumm' to a 'higher skill, higher wage virtuous cycle' to become a middle income country. The program will help the government to scale-up skilling of new entrants and up-skilling of existing workers to contribute to higher growth of priority sectors. The program will strengthen skills development in Bangladesh and support transition to a sector-wide approach (SWAp) by establishing a unified funding system and enhancing overall coordination of the currently fragmented system.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Bangladesh economy has grown rapidly at about 6% annually since 2003, up from 5% in the 1990s. The poverty headcount index declined sharply from 57% in 1992 to 31% in 2010. Social indicators have improved significantly, particularly for women. However, despite impressive progress, the 2010 labor force survey indicated that more than 60% of the labor force has either no education (40%) or up to primary education (22.8%) and less than 2% have any kind of vocational training; about 2 million young people enter the labor force every year. The average wage per worker has remained low at Tk200 per day for day laborers and Tk3,500 per month for garment workers.

With the approval of the National Education Policy and the NSDP, the government embarked on major education and training reforms. The National Education Policy emphasizes the overall importance of education and training, while the NSDP reinforces the importance of skills development and opens up the sector for major policy and institutional reforms. Bangladesh has achieved gender parity in primary and secondary education participation since 2000. Women''s labor force participation grew from 26% in 2003 to 36% in 2010. A major opportunity for the country comes from its declining dependency ratio, from a high of 108% in 1974 to 66% in 2010, leading to an increasing share of the working age population in the next three decades. However, this opportunity cannot be capitalized on unless urgent investments are made in much higher quality schooling combined with at least a four-fold increase in skilling and/or up-skilling of the labor force, which is expected to increase from 56.7 million in 2010 to 78 million in 2025.

In its Perspective Plan 2021, Bangladesh articulates its vision to achieve middle-income status by 2021, including reducing the poverty rate by half. To accelerate economic growth from the current 6% to 8% and above, the government must 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 to (i) increase labor force productivity to contribute to higher average household income leading to higher gross domestic product, (ii) double exports within 10 years, (iii) double remittances through higher skills leading to higher per capita remittances, and (iv) promote economic diversification including trade facilitation and industrialization.


Project Outcome

Description of Outcome increased inclusive access to skills training in priority sectors.
Progress Toward Outcome For the total enrollment target of 260,000 under Tranche 1, an estimated 33,600 trainees have been enrolled, and the number is increasing; 31% of enrollees have been certified, and about 23% of trainees have been female. The first certified trainees are now getting employed.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Market-responsive inclusive skills training delivered,

Quality assurance system strengthened,

Institutions strengthened, and

Effective program management

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The SDCMU has signed contracts with 7 industry associations, and memoranda of understanding with Bangladesh Bank Small and Medium Enterprise (BB-SME) Department, Palli-Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), and 32 public training institutions (PTIs) (20 technical training centers under the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment; 9 technical schools and colleges under the Ministry of Education; and 3 Bangladesh Industrial and Technical Assistance Centers under the Ministry of Industry). The SDCMU will shortly sign another contract with the Bangladesh Association of Call Center and Outsourcing (BACCO) and the Leather goods And Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association (LFMEAB). For a total enrollment target of 260,000 under Tranche 1, 33,600 trainees have been enrolled in 149 training centers across 37 districts to date; 31% of enrollees have been certified, and about 23% of trainees have been female.

Establishment of Two Industry Skills Councils has been supported. The preparation for establishment of National Human Resource Development Fund is wel. under way.

Geographical Location

Safeguard Categories

Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples B

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects Under project 1, only existing facilities will receive support for minor adjustment or renovations to cater to training activity needs. No acquisition of land is planned. Accordingly, project 1 is category C for environment safeguard.
Involuntary Resettlement Since no relocation of people is also planned, project 1 is category C for involuntary resettlement safeguard.
Indigenous Peoples The investment program will reach and include unskilled residents of remote areas and members of disadvantaged groups, including indigenous peoples. Project 1 is expected to have positive impacts and is classified category B for indigenous peoples safeguards in accordance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009). A small ethnic community planning framework was developed to guide the executing and implementing agencies in assessing the presence of indigenous peoples in the project area and conducting separate consultations to elicit their views, identify the need for culturally compatible mechanisms for their participation, and ensure incorporation of adequate measures in project activities. The executing agency through the SDCMU will monitor these activities closely and ensure necessary actions.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design

Representatives of the project stakeholders were consulted during program preparation. The stakeholders consulted were the TVET regulating body, those responsible for labor market functioning, industry and other employers, private and nongovernment organization providers of TVET, and development partners. The program will seek inputs from other stakeholders, such as trade unions, new TVET students, TVET graduates, parents, and international employers, and secondary and higher education institutions to improve the quality of training.

Public consultations were also conducted with industry associations, public training institutions, the Bangladesh Bank small and medium enterprise program, and Palli-Karma Sahayak Foundation which has more than 200 partner nongovernment organizations.

During Project Implementation

Regular consultation will be undertaken during program implementation not only to identify any program-related grievances but also to seek feedback from the community on how it sees the program achieving its targets.

Adequate participation of civil society organizations in project implementation will also be ensured through constant dialogue, workshops, training programs, and dissemination of findings from monitoring and evaluation.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services All consultants will be selected using ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time). Since the investment program is being financed by ADB's Special Funds resources and ADB will also be administering cofinancing to be provided by the Government of Switzerland, ADB's member country eligibility restrictions will not apply to this investment program. Up to nine industry associations and PKSF will be contracted by the executive agency using single-source selection to deliver skills training in agreed sectors and skills areas.
Procurement The government will procure all goods, works, and consulting services for the investment program. Goods and civil works will be procured in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2013, as amended from time to time). Goods valued at more than $1 million and works valued at more than $2 million will be procured using international competitive bidding and ADB's standard bidding documents, and be subject to prior review. Goods and works valued below the international competitive bidding threshold will be procured using national competitive bidding in accordance with the government's Public Procurement Act (2006) and it's Public Procurement Rules (2008), subject to modifications agreed by the government and ADB.

Responsible Staff

Responsible ADB Officer Rudi Louis Hendrikus Van Dael
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Bangladesh Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Finance Division, MOF (EA)
Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000


Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding -
MRM 04 Feb 2014
Approval 03 Jun 2014
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 30 Mar 2016

Grant 0391-BAN

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
03 Jun 2014 19 Jan 2015 24 Feb 2015 30 Jun 2018 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 38.50 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 0.00 03 Jun 2014 0.00 3.22 32%
Counterpart 28.50 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 10.00 03 Jun 2014 0.00 2.41 24%

Loan 3131-BAN

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
03 Jun 2014 04 Jun 2014 24 Jul 2014 30 Jun 2018 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 100.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 100.00 03 Jun 2014 53.54 0.00 59%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 03 Jun 2014 9.20 0.00 10%

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

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