LightCastle Partners has recently signed a contract with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to conduct a tracer study assessing the impact of its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programmes on youths/industry workers in different occupations under its Skills21 project.
The EU-funded International Labor Organization’s (ILO) ‘Skills 21 – Empowering Citizens for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’ project, spanning from January 2017 to June 2023, aimed to enhance productivity and employment opportunities in Bangladesh. The project focused on developing an eco-friendly, inclusive, and market-relevant skills development system.
Skills 21, recognizing that formal education and training systems alone do not cover all skill development, emphasized the importance of informal or non-formal learning in workshops and workplaces. However, skills acquired through such means often go unrecognized by employers, putting individuals at a disadvantage in job searches and career progression. This invisibility of skills exacerbates under-utilization, mismatch, and contributes to higher unemployment, poverty, and inequality. The project aimed to address this challenge by RPL programs to make uncertified skills visible.
A key intervention of the project involved building the capacity of partner Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions to transform them into model institutes. These institutes were supported to implement the RPL program, assessing industry workers following Competency Based Training & Assessment (CBT&A) on different qualifications. Furthermore, to implement the RPL program, the project upgraded the lab facilities of seven partner TVET institutes to become accredited assessment centers capable of conducting assessments for skilled workers. Additionally, the project partnered with the Vocational Teachers Training Institute (VTTI), Bogura; Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB); and seven more TVET institutes in 2020.
Through Skills21, ILO aimed to assess and certify 3,500 skilled/industrial workers through RPL to recognize their skills. Following the national skills certification system of BTEB, the project, as of June 2023, supported RPL assessments for 4,593 youths, with 3,595 successfully receiving certification.
LightCastle Partners has been commissioned to conduct a tracer study on youths and industry workers engaged in RPL programs under the Skills 21 Project. The study seeks to assess changes in employment status and income of participants, evaluate the relevance of acquired certificates, and gauge satisfaction levels and perceived needs of RPL among workers, employers, and training providers. Additionally, LightCastle will provide recommendations for program improvement. Their crucial role involves gathering and analyzing data to offer insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact, guiding future initiatives in skills development and recognition under the Skills21 initiative.