Helvetas strengthens skills, employability and income of workers and job seekers who are trained and benefit from satisfactory job placement in the agro food processing sector. At the same time, Helvetas supports the competitiveness and capacity for employment of small agro food processing enterprises through their better integration in selected sub-sector value chains and through improvements in the business environment.
Bangladesh’s transformative journey from an agricultural based rural economy to a growing industrial sector has put the agro-food processing sub-sector at a promising stage, particularly with an ever burgeoning need of processed food for a population of 160,000 million of inhabitants in a very small territory. In Bangladesh, there is a lack of training opportunities for disadvantaged women and men and it is one of the great challenges of this country to transform its huge unskilled and semi-skilled workforce into skilled and productive labor. The vast majority of unskilled and semi-skilled people are from the disadvantaged section of the society and account for an estimated 35% of individuals living below the poverty line. Through this project Helvetas supports 25,000 skilled workers and places them in gainful employment or self-employment in the agro-food processing sectors through a market based solution.
25’000 women and men from 36 Sub-Districts across Bangladesh are trained, following the national technical and vocational framework for curriculum development, skill testing and certification. The project builds simultaneously the capacity of 4,500 agro-food processing enterprises, the major employment providers, linking them with 10,000 market actors, and connecting them with business development services to improve their compliance in regard to decent job conditions and environmental standards.
Skills development and small scale enterprise capacity building are the two cornerstones of the Shamerto intervention model which creates interrelated effects that lead to sustained and market based solutions. The skilled workers contribute to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the small scale industries, which in turn generate growth and employment opportunities for a better skilled workforce.