The Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh and Skills for Employment Investment Programme or SEIP signed an agreement to train workers in the leather sector to boost productivity.
The SEIP is a project under the finance ministry which mainly deals with the financing of the training for producing a skilled workforce. A total of Tk 9.01 crore would be spent on training the workforce.
Under the agreement, the association will offer training to 5,090 workers free of cost for two years in 15 courses including sewing and cutting, setting and assembling, productivity improvement technique, material selection, and sourcing and procurement.
The workers will be trained in different leather goods and footwear factories with some allowance provided to the trainees.
Training for 780 workers is currently ongoing and the first batch is scheduled to end by June. The project aims to employ 70 percent of the trainees to the member factories of the association after the completion of the courses.
“However, I think all the trainees could be employed after the training as the sector has a dearth of skilled workers,” said Saiful Islam, president of the association, after signing the agreement in Dhaka.
“Our exports are too dependent on one item which is garment. We need diversification of products. Leather and leather goods including footwear are currently among the most important diversified products for export,” Islam said.
The SEIP will bear 90 percent of the cost of the project, with the remaining cost by the association.
Jalal Ahmed, national project director of SEIP, signed the deal on behalf of the government.