Following successful pilots through the Skills Training for Advancing Resources (STAR) project, BRAC launched the Skills Development Programme (SDP) in 2015. The program focuses on (1) skills training, (2) job linkages, (3) entrepreneurship and market development, and (4) skills sector development. The programme serves youth and adults and has a special focus on labor migrants and disadvantaged (minorities, transgenders etc.) groups of which 50% are women and 10% are people with disabilities. The programme envisages to provide competency based training to 500,000 youth and adults within 2020 and ensure jobs for at least 80% of the graduates. SDP is supporting the government to
- implement the National Technical Vocational Qualification Framework (NTVQF)
- promote Competency Based Training and Assessment (CBT&A)
- broaden provision by providing apprenticeships and institution based dual training in both formal and informal economies / sectors
- increase outreach by serving rural (70%) and urban (30%) areas
- exhilarate female participation (50% are females in SDP interventions)
- enhance access of People with Disabilities /PWDs (10% trainees in SDP are PWDs) and other disadvantaged groups (Social Inclusion is a cross cutting theme in SDP)
- transform youth and adults into skilled human resources
- intensify the role of private sector and of Small and Medium Enterprises in local economic development
- generation of data in regard to demand identification
- domestic and overseas employment (SDP targets at least 80% employment of its graduates)
- create Decent Work provisions (Decent Work is a cross cutting theme in SDP)
- strengthen the professional capacity of the sector (there are huge gaps of CBT&A experts)
- policy advocacy, dialogue and reforms (SDP is active in national forums e.g. on skills development, disability, gender etc.)
The major focus of STAR has been the informal sector with the aim to reach out to disadvantaged youth who are don’t have access to formal training and only have access to low level jobs. The STAR project is an on-the-job apprenticeship model for school drop outs, which supports entrepreneurship and enterprise development and provides the option to dropouts to resume their education. The project places apprentices in pairs under the guidance of master crafts people who already run their own businesses and are also trained by the project on competency based training techniques and supported to set up conducive work environment. Innovating and scaling up the traditional apprenticeship practices of South Asia, they spend six months learning practical technical on the job and entrepreneurship skills from the master crafts persons. They also receive trade specific theoretical and soft skills training once a week. After training completion, the project links them to jobs.
In case of STAR, employers and business associations are providing information to identify which occupations are in high demand. The training curriculum and teaching learning material are developed with guidance from employers. They contribute by providing the training space (their workshops), the equipment (in their shops) and the technical support for training in line with the NTVQF. Employers assist in assessment and also provide the job linkages.
The trades are chosen based on current and predicted future market demands and now include Thai Aluminum Fabrication, Basic Electronics, Beauty Care, Graphic Design, Hardware Technician/ IT Support, Mobile Phone Servicing, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Tailoring & Dress Making and Carpentry. Many of these trades are attractive to expectant migrants.
About 15,000 young people have been trained within 2012 – 2015 through the STAR project of SDP. Approximately 99% of the graduates have been employed within a month of their training completion with about 100% increase in their income level. Studies show that this has contributed to their socio economic empowerment with significant impact on self-confidence e.g. regarding personal decision-making, their household role; and in many cases, decreasing the risks of early marriage for girls.
The project has a tech based monitoring system which ensures knowledge management and enables continuous learning. Feedback of employers, learners, graduates and customers are used for monthly discussions of field staff which are then fed into annual design workshops.