Bangladesh started implementation of World Bank funded Skill and Training Enhancement Project (STEP): additional $100 million to improve Bangladeshi youths’ vocational skills

Dhaka – Bangladesh launched implementation of 100 million U.S. dollars additional financing provided by the World Bank for a project to strengthen technical and vocational education in the country.

With the additional financing, the Washington-based lender said its total support to the project stands at 179 million U.S. dollars, with co-financing of 16.7 million U.S. dollars in grants from the government of Canada. The additional financing will provide 420,000 poor students with the skills to find better jobs in the local and overseas job markets, said the bank in a statement.

In October 2015, it said the World Bank Board approved the additional 100 million U.S. dollars financing to the ongoing Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) to help modernize public and private polytechnic institutions.

“A more skilled workforce is crucial for Bangladesh to realize its aspiration of becoming an upper-middle income country. For this, the country needs to invest more in education, skills and training,”said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. “The additional financing will help improve the quality of technical and vocational education and training. It will also support critical reforms to enable the country to prepare a globally competitive workforce for better-paid jobs.”

STEP has already provided stipends to more than 110,000 poor diploma students in 93 private and public polytechnic institutions that enabled them to continue education, said the bank, adding nearly 77,000 youths have received free 6-month vocational training in 38 trades including electrical, automotive and garment sectors. “Nearly one-third of the students were women and 95 percent of the students completed the courses. Within six months of completing the courses, 42 percent of the trainees were employed.”

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