Swisscontact Bangladesh's Uttoron project, funded by Chevron's Bangladesh Partnership Initiative, signed an agreement with Khulna Shipyard (KSY) to introduce internationally standardised advanced welding training for the first time in Bangladesh.
Upgrading a government training institute to introduce the much needed skill is one of Uttoron's three objectives, said a press release.
The project seeks to mitigate the demand for 3G and 4G level welding training, both at home and abroad, as Bangladesh currently lags behind in the global employment market with its available pieces of training that are not internationally standardised.
The centre chosen for up-gradation is the Technical Training Center (TTC), operated by KSY.
The signing event took place at a hotel in Dhaka and was graced by the presence of KSY Managing Director Commodore M Zakirul Islam (E), Chevron Bangladesh President Eric M Walker, Petrobangla Director (PSC) Md Shaheenur Islam Chevron Bangladesh Director of Corporate Affairs Md Imrul Kabir, and Swisscontact Country Director Mujibul Hasan.
In expressing his gratitude to Chevron and Swisscontact for embarking on this important initiative, KSY's Managing Director Commodore Islam said, "I'd like to thank Chevron and Swisscontact for taking us on as their partner for this very crucial initiative. We have enough people, but not enough skilled people. We are working to develop our human resources. We want a skilled population that can increase production and contribute to our economy. We are proud to be part of a program funded by Chevron and implemented by Swisscontact that can build a skilled workforce, who can, in turn, make a lasting contribution to Bangladesh."
President of Chevron Bangladesh, Eric M Walker said, "The blending of skills, technical oversight and organisational capabilities of these two stellar organisations will fulfil the cornerstones of this program – sustainability beyond its lifespan, accessibility to market-driven, demand-driven vocational skills, and potential for future growth."
Petrobangla Director Md Shaheenur Islam said, "Chevron's Bangladesh Partnership Initiative (BPI) is playing a vital role in improving the socio-economic condition of Bangladesh."
Swisscontact Bangladesh's Country Director, Mujibul Hasan said, "Today's agreement is an example of Uttoron's uniqueness. It will be a first-of-its-kind initiative, where a development project, with support from the private sector and collaboration with the government, will introduce internationally standardised training in Bangladesh".
Bangladesh currently has an economically active population of 63.4 million people, with a labour force growing at a rate of 1.3 million per year. 60.7 million are employed, indicating the presence of unemployment, which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated.