ECNEC approves Tk 4,300cr project to groom youth-folk as workforce


The government on Tuesday approved a Taka 4,300 crore project to groom the country’s youth folk, women and disadvantageous section of people suitable for getting employed and thus build themselves as demand-based workforce of the country.

The approval came from a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) held on Tuesday with its Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The Premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganobhaban residence while Ministers, State Ministers, Planning Commission Members and Secretaries concerned attended the meeting from the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said a total of eight projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 7,589.72 crore.

“Of the total project cost, Taka 5,009.72 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while the rest of Taka 2,580 crore as project assistance,” he added.

Of the approved eight projects, six are new while two others are revised projects.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam, Planning Commission members and Secretaries concerned attended the briefing.

The Department of Technical Education under the Technical and Madrasah Education Division will implement the “Accelerating and Strengthening Skills for Economic Transformation (ASSET)” project with around Taka 4,300 crore by December 2026, the Planning Minister said.

Of the total project cost, around Taka 1,720 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while the rest of around Taka 2,580 crore as project assistance from the World Bank.

Mannan said there is a lack of skills among the workforce in the country and to overcome that the government had implemented various projects.

Dr Shamsul Alam said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has termed this project as very time befitting in order to properly utilize the demographic dividend of the country.

The ASSET project will equip more than one million youth and workers with skills needed for the jobs of the future. The project will help youth, women and disadvantaged groups, including people with disabilities, learn skills
and connect them to the labor market. The project will also help accelerate recovery from the pandemic by supporting industries to retrain their workers.

The main project operations include construction of non residential building, 15 acres of land acquisition, imparting necessary training, holding seminars, conferences, procuring ICT and computer equipments, providing support to technical and stipend education and thus creating awareness on the pandemic.

Planning Commission officials said the project will help modernize and build resilience of the technical vocational education and training sector in Bangladesh.

The project will benefit further the informal sector workers through expanding the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme, the official added.