The Nuts and Bolts of Market-Driven Skills Training

The partnership between the Bangladesh government and industry associations allows trainees to gain employable skills. Photo credit: SEIP.
The partnership between the Bangladesh government and industry associations allows trainees to gain employable skills. Photo credit: SEIP.

Bangladesh trained 1.5 million people by linking directly to the real-world needs of employers.


Despite impressive recent growth in the Bangladesh economy – about 6% annually since 2003 and the poverty headcount index sharply down to 31% in 2010 from a high 57% in 1992 – the 2010 labor force survey indicates low education levels.  More than 60% of the labor force reported either no education (40%) or have only reached primary education (22.8%). About 2 million young people enter the labor force every year and while their education profile is improving, skills shortage remains one of the main constraints to the growth of economic opportunities in Bangladesh.

In order to accelerate its economic growth rates, the government committed to improve skills development and training. It developed the Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP) – a skills development program for skilling new entrants and upskilling existing workforce to enhance the productivity and growth of priority industry sectors. A major component of the program is a partnership between the government and the private sector through the country’s various industry associations.


  • 1.5 million trainees for the 10-year period
  • 100,000 enrollees for 2016

Project information

Project snapshot

  • July 2014 to December 2024: Program period
  • US$ 500 million loan: Asian Development Bank
  • US$ 40 million grant: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  • US$ 125 million counterpart fund: Government of Bangladesh
  • US$ 7.5 million contribution: Bangladesh industry associations
  • US$ 682.5 million: Total Program Cost

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Meet the experts

  • Abdur Rouf Talukder
    Executive Project Director, Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP), Finance Division, Ministry of Finance

    Abdur Talukder is a career civil servant, and has been serving in different government positions for more than 28 years. He has specialized in the fiscal policy, macro-economic management and TVET system. He was involved during the preparatory work of the SEIP project and now leading the team for its implementation.

    Follow Abdur Rouf Talukder on

  • Karina Veal
    Senior Education Specialist, Asian Development Bank

    Karina Veal provides strategic and technical advice across ADB's growing education sector operations to assist developing countries meet their education priorities. She focuses on innovative solutions to emerging issues such as 'blended' learning, effective industry engagement, and public-private sharing of educational facilities. Before joining ADB in 2012, she operated an independent consultancy practice in education for development, working with UN and bilateral agencies. Prior to that, she held a variety of public policy leadership and advisory roles.

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   Bangladesh, Education, Industry and trade
   Last updated: February 2017



The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian Development Bank, its management, its Board of Directors, or its members.

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