World Bank approves USD 79mn loan to Bangladesh

The World Bank on Thursday approved a credit of USD 79 million to Bangladesh for its Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP).

Updated: Jun 11, 2010, 14:23 PM IST

Washington: The World Bank on Thursday
approved a credit of USD 79 million to Bangladesh for its
Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP).

The project will assist the country in further developing
its human capital resources. While approving the grant Ellen
Goldstein, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh,
observed that an increasingly skilled labor force would be
necessary to accelerate economic growth in the country.

STEP seeks to strengthen public and private training
institutions that would improve the skill set and
employability of the workforce.

"Enhancing vocational training will increase
employability, allow workers to command higher wages in
international markets, and allow for greater diversification
and value-added in export production," Goldstein said.

The growing work population in Bangladesh supports key
export industries and generates remittances that account for
approximately 30 per cent of the national income.

According to World Bank, in 2009, Bangladeshis working
overseas sent nearly $9 billion in remittances at home. The
country is also emerging as an exporting powerhouse especially
in the garment industry.

This, along with greater participation of women and young
people in the labor force, has considerably increased demands
on institutions delivering education and skills.

The Skills and Training Enhancement Project will further
Bangladesh`s objective of developing human resources as a
cornerstone of poverty alleviation through a variety of proven
and innovative reforms of the pre-employment TVET system.

Besides enhancing quality and access to various
vocational programs, the project will also foster private
sector participation in institutional management as well as
administrative, academic, and financial autonomy to enhance
learning and employment outcomes.

PTI