“Invest, young people will take care of the rest”, said State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Hasan Russell, MP while emphasizing the necessity for hands on-the-job training in Bangladesh. He was addressing as the Chief Guest at the celebration of 10 years of STAR (BRAC’s Skills Trainings for Advancing Resources) project held at BRAC Centre, Dhaka.
“Bangladesh Government is investing in skills development of youth and taking different initiatives. Government and non-profits. Government and NGOs can work hands on hands to reach out to youth who are in needs of education or technical training”, he added.
The on-the-job training programme is a solution to unemployment and poverty for the out of school adolescent and youth, said Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC.
He noted that this programme is even more effective in terms of creating employment for the female participants.
Also present as special guests were, Md Nuruzzaman Sharif, ndc, Director General and Joint Secretary, Bureau of Non-formal Education (BNFE), Dr Md Omar Faruque, Director General and Additional Secretary, Directorate of Technical Education, Dr Md Alfaz Hossain, Project Director, Comprehensive Village Development Program (CVDP).
The training has more positive impacts on girls than boys: Effect on girls’ savings was 6 times higher than that of boys, employment among unmarried women increased by 43%, reduced chances of early marriage by 62% amongst female participants and subsequently delayed early childbirth.
In 2012, BRAC, UNICEF, ILO and Bureau of Non-Formal Education (BNFE) launched the Skills Training for Advancing Resources (STAR) as part of the Basic Education for Hard-to-Reach Urban Working Children (BEHTRUWC) project. The training builds on the traditional “Ustad-Shagred” (Master-Apprentice) model, where out of school adolescent and youth are placed as apprentices with local businesspersons known as Master Craft Persons. Over the years, STAR has demonstrated its success in providing an alternative learning pathway by training over 120,000 young people, especially in reaching around 60% girls who had no other learning options.
As the training is aligned with market-driven skills needs and the National Technical and Vocational Qualification Framework (NTVQF), graduate apprentices can go on to acquire Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) certification, and eventually better-paid jobs, in the formal sector as well. STAR has also been recognized as one of the top 10 global solutions for youth by the Generation Unlimited.