Bangladesh's contribution to knitwear sector calls for action not just words and we must begin to engage to address the rapid change of the industry, experts said at a dissemination workshop held on February 27, 2017 at a hotel in the city. BIGD in partnership with Skills for Employment Investment Programme (SEIP) project organised the workshop to disseminate Need Assessment Report and Outline of Course Curriculum of Executive Development Programme (EDP) under SEIP project and have feedback from entrepreneurs and experts of Knitwear Sector in Bangladesh.
Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor BRAC University attended the workshop as chief guest where Mr. Abdur Rouf Talukder, Additional Secretary and Executive Project Director, SEIP project was special guest. Among others, Mr. Arastoo Khan, Chairman of Board of Directors of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, Mr. Md. Khairul Islam, Joint Secretary and Deputy Executive Project Director SEIP project, Dr. Md. Shanawez Hossain Chief Coordinator of EDP, SEIP; and entrepreneurs and experts from Knitwear sector attended the event.
To accelerate the growth by increasing the productivity of workforce of the priority industry sectors including knitwear sector, the Government of Bangladesh with the help of ADB and SDC is implementing this skills training program. BRAC University is implementing curriculum development part for the knitwear sub-sector. It will ultimately lead to establishing an Executive Development Center to address skills gap for the mid to high level managers as well as new entrants in knitwear sector.
In his speech Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb said, “It is a perfect platform for industry and academic linkage where BRAC University has accommodated SEIP for Knitwear industry development. The course will reduce the dependence on foreign resources yet will find ways to better collaborate in the fields of research and development and capitalize the scope of lifelong learning.” He suggested that there should be a benchmark and monitoring of the training outcome for the feasibility of such training to integrate more such programs. In future there should be research documents for the next batch of activities. This training programme should focus on SMART goal with innovation and course delivery engaging the participants with critical thinking and problem solving discussions, he added. He also suggested different classroom management techniques like, flip class rooms, group projects, Q/A sessions to make the training interactive.
Mr. Arostoo Khan, who was one of the brains behind the idea of EDP said , “My engagement with this project is more of passion. As you are all aware that we are going through a demographic dividend and a large number of young men and women are entering into the industry market. So we have to prepare them. Again China is relocating a lot of factories away from China as the cost of labor in China is going up and we have to prepare our market for that. So these factors put an impact to take decision regarding the ADB funded EDP.”
Narrating background of the EDP Project, Dr. Abdur Rouf Talukder, Executive Project Director of SEIP and the Additional Secretary, Finance Ministry said that there was enormous skill gap at mid and higher level positions, namely supervisor; mid and top level managers in certain industrial sector. Against this backdrop, the SEIP project of Finance Division under Ministry of Finance would like to work with leading universities of the country to establish Executive Development Centre (EDC) to conduct nine-month training programme to develop mid and higher level managers. Government will support the programme up to 2024. He also mentioned that the concept of EDC used here will be an entity that will support at developing world class business executive and entrepreneurs. He briefly narrated the scope of the EDC, its beneficiaries, its funding modality and possible implementing strategy.
In his welcome speech, Dr. Shanawez Hossain, Research Fellow of BIGD and Chief Coordinator of EDP, SEIP said, “The ‘Government-industry-university’ linkage established under this project is something completely new in Bangladesh. However, it is not new in many countries of the world where companies and universities work in tandem to push the frontiers of knowledge; and thus they become a powerful engine for innovation and economic growth. Silicon Valley, Microsoft-Cisco-Intel and University of Melbourne collaboration; and BP’s Energy Biosciences Institute in the University of California, Berkeley are examples of such collaborations.”
Later Mr. Md. Khairul Islam, Deputy Executive Project Director, SEIP made brief presentation on EDP while Chief Coordinator of EDP, SEIP Dr. Shanawez Hossain presented the Training Need Assessment findings. Ms. Mahreen Mamoon, Coordinator of EDP, SEIP presented tentative curriculum of courses to be offered under this program while EDP-SEIP coordinators Mr. Sirajul Islam and Ms. Jannatun Naim facilitated the workshop. Representatives from several knitwear industries attended the workshop and provided their valuable suggestions and guidelines to make the EDP successful.