Skills Development through Apprenticeship

Filling the gap between skills providers and industries

Leveraging the “demographic dividend” by empowering youth through meaningful skills most demanded by the market. Show more

Bangladesh has a total population of 159 million (BBS, 2015) and labor force of 79 million (World Bank, 2014). According to ILO, Labor force is growing at a rate of 2.2% which means every year 1.8 million new labor forces are coming into the labor market. Every year only 1.2 million youths are being trained by government operated skills development training agencies. Rest of the forces fall in NEET (Not in Education, Employment and Training). Education and training centres failed to provide skilled workers according to the demand of the local industries and international job markets. Presently there is a huge communication and coordination gap exists between employers and skills development agencies. To remove this gap dual apprenticeship enters into the scene.
The apprenticeship approach involves using both private and public stakeholders to develop balanced training programmes. Employers equip apprentices with on-the-job practical skills and training institutions equip apprentices with more theoretical off-the-job training. In apprenticeship, the company is the main learning environment where manual skills, work processes and procedures as well as behaviour patterns and attitudes are developed under real work conditions. The training institution, whether it is private or public, is the second learning environment, where apprentices acquire competencies that are more effectively taught out of the workplace.

In 2016, only 15,000 unemployed youths trained through Apprenticeship programme by different formal and informal industries which is only 0.83% of total labour force. To increase this negligible share and to uplift the image of Apprenticeship Programme in Bangladesh, the Access to Information (a2i) Programme is playing significant contribution to expand rapidly. a2i Programme, in partnership with ILO, has been completed a six months long pilot apprenticeship programme in 30 Upazilas of the country. Partnership has been established with a total number of 600 informal workplaces to ensure on-the-job training and decent employment. In this apprenticeship programme, 1200 unemployed youths trained in 36 market driven trades and employed in decent jobs. These youths trained under the supervision of 600 Master Craft Persons’s (MPCs)/Ostaad’s who possess expertise on various occupational trades such as Electrical House Wiring, Welding, Glass and Mirror Fitting, Masonry Works, Carpentry, Wood Carving, Lacquer Polisher, Mobile Phone Servicing, Motor Cycle Servicing, Painting, Plumbing, Tailoring and Dress Making, Tiles, Steel Furniture Making etc. Since it was a successful pilot programme, a2i currently planning to scale up the programme in 50 Upazilas considering decent employment generation for 2,600 unemployed youths.

a2i has organized Social Media Sanglap on ‘Decent Employment through Apprenticeship’ at Prime Minister’s Office involving Secretaries of relevant Ministries, Director Generals of relevant Departments/Directorates and industry leaders. a2i has taken initiatives to start apprenticeship programme in the top industries of the country. Already UK Cabinet Office based organization Behavioral Insight Team (BIT), collaborating with a2i, has been engaged to create awareness and provide motivation on incentives provided by government and benefits for the industries having apprenticeship programme on board.

Facts & Figures




Apprentice able Trades

60+ Upazilas

Area of Intervention


Formal and Informal Industries



Lighting up Houses

Liton Sarker found out the harsh reality of life one summer when suddenly he stopped going to school. Liton went about trying to earn something when most of his friends spent their time running around and playing.

The bittersweet moment when young Liton’s sister was married off, also brought a little relief for the family of five since it meant one less mouth to feed. Liton’s father scrapes together a living with his small trade and Liton’s mother is a house-wife.

Liton says, “We are poor and it pains us.” When he saw that even his younger brother had started working in a workplace as Apprentice, Liton also had to start earning for his family. With little education and almost no skills, there was not much that Liton could do in this country of 160 million.

Destiny did finally bring light into his life as one of the many a2i’s projects started working with dropouts to integrate them into the workforce. He started learning electrical house wiring under a2i’s apprenticeship program at a workplace five days a week and on the sixth day Liton used to go to a training institute to gather theoretical knowledge. After completing six months long apprenticeship programme, he is lighting up people’s homes with the hope that it will light up his family. Now he is earning more than ten thousand taka per month and having a better life too.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
Submit Your Idea