CEBAI plans to train more garment workers, factory managers

The Centre of Excellence for Bangladesh Apparel Industry (CEBAI) plans to enhance skills and increase productivity in the garment sector by providing training to workers and mid-level managers.

A CEBAI official disclosed the plan at the “Brand Forum Meeting 2017” at the Hotel Amari in Dhaka yesterday. 

The CEBAI was launched in November 2014 by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to address the skills gap in the garment sector.

It is run by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and, up until November 2017, was supported by International Labour Organisation, Sweden and international fashion retailer H&M. The CEBAI's vision is to establish a replicable model of industry-driven training and support services in Bangladesh, said a statement of the BGMEA.

“Its actions have benefitted workers and employers alike as it has helped create a firm foundation for future skills development in the sector.”  Achievements include the establishment of the CEBAI Training Centre in Ashulia where a variety of courses for basic sewing machine operators, supervisory and management skills are being taught. Training methods and curricula that meet the demands of the industry have been introduced.

New competency standards and curricula developed as part of the National Technical and Vocational Qualification Framework offer basic operator skills in knitwear, denim, lingerie and woven products.

The industry needs are being met through the piloting of enterprise-based training (EBT) facilities in 10 leading garment groups, which have trained more than 4,100 workers. Having an in-house EBT centre helps companies develop the capacity of existing workers and employees resulting in increased productivity and higher wages, said the statement. 

Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the garment industry has enormous scope to improve productivity through skills development.

“I call on the industry to look at what the CEBAI has achieved and to build further on these efforts to achieve a more flexible, demand-driven and inclusive skills development system in Bangladesh.”

Atiqul Islam, president of the CEBAI, said, “While much has been accomplished, the CEBAI is still in its infancy. We must continue to nurture it so that it is able to support the industry to move up the value chain and gain further share in the world market.”

Siddiqur Rahman, president of the BGMEA, said, “For the industry to fulfil its true potential we need to upgrade the skills of our workforce.”