First Inclusive Job Centre (IJC) in Bangladesh

On 24th August a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed in Mirpur among Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

A first of its kind, an Inclusive Job Centre (IJC) has been established and became operational at Mirpur from September, 2015. GIZ has supported to renovate the infrastructure for the IJC and to provide equipment, materials and to help in establishing an interactive website.

GIZ will support with a development advisor to establish this centre; support to link for skills training and employment of persons with disabilities through GIZ’ strong network with the private sector in the RMG industry.

The MoU includes the objective of the Inclusive Job Centre which is to facilitate skills training and increase employment and career opportunities in the Ready-Made Garments (RMG) industry for persons with disabilities.

The key roles of the Inclusive Job Centre are indicated in the MoU consists of functioning as a platform for advisory services, information sharing, capacity building, and job-search based on individual needs and competencies and to establish a referral network.

These activities are backed by the expertise of professionals from NGO partners in the field of disability inclusion.

The key objectives to establish the inclusive job centre are to identify persons with disabilities for skills training, to link them with referral network, to improve disability inclusiveness in factories, and to promote inclusive workforce in the RMG sector.

The MoU is the basis for establishing a tripartite relation among CRP, BGMEA and GIZ. The MoU will facilitate the close cooperation with the concerned departments of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, especially with the National Skills Development Council (NSDC) Secretariat under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The signatories were Dr Jochen Weikert, Programme Coordinator, GIZ, Mr. Shafiq-Ul-Islam, Executive Director, CRP and Mr. Reaz Bin Mahmood, Vice President, BGMEA.

By engaging its members, BGMEA can make a significant change in the dynamics of the workforce through establishing an Inclusive Job Centre. RMG industry suffers from the shortage of a skilled workforce; BGMEA can support the inclusive job centre in the process of skills development and job placement of persons with disabilities to meet the demands of the sector. The Inclusive Job Centre will use the experiences and strong network of CRP in the RMG sector and with other stakeholders in facilitating a disability inclusive RMG Labour Market.  

The Inclusive Job Centre will assist the RMG factories to have an inclusive environment. It will link persons with disabilities to inclusive skills training on RMG sector. It will support persons with disabilities to find employment in barrier free RMG factories.

The Inclusive Job Centre considers the public private partnership towards an inclusive RMG workforce by creating linkages among skills training and employment opportunities for an untapped workforce of persons with disabilities.

GIZ will organize a study tour in October 2015 with the key stakeholders to Germany for transferring the technology, knowledge and learning the best practices.

The chief guest of the signing ceremony was Mr ABM Khorshed Alam, CEO, NSDC, Secretariat. Other dignitaries like Mr Srinivas B Reddy, Country Director, International Labour Organization, Bangladesh and Mr A.H.M. Noman Khan, Executive Director, Centre for Disability in Development were also present in the event.

GIZ will support the centre till June 2017. The aim of this joint effort is to make the inclusive job centre sustainable with the support from the private sector.