The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh signed an agreement for a USD100 million loan for up-skilling the young workforce, especially women, to increase job opportunities, expand economic base, and boost income. The assistance is the second tranche of the USD350 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) approved by ADB in 2014 for the Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP). The remaining amount from the ADB assistance is expected to be utilized before the MFF period ends in 2024. Kazi ShafiqulAzam, secretary of Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Kazuhiko Higuchi, country director of ADB Bangladesh Resident Mission, signed the loan agreement on behalf of their respective organizations. “The program underpins the country’s path toward higher income level with diversified and expanded economic base, while providing good jobs to people, especially women,” said ADB’s Kazuhiko Higuchi. “The program has already delivered significant benefits. ADB will continue supporting this strategically important program of the government in the coming years.”
The second tranche of the SEIP will support expansion of the training program to 9 priority industries, bringing in 3 additional industry associations (Bangladesh Agro-processors’ Association, Industry Skills Council for Hospitality and Tourism, and Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry), and 15 the capital recently. Zaki Hasan, chief executive officer of UCEP Bangladesh, and senior officials were also present. UIST Dhaka is the first polytechnic institute of UCEP Bangladesh providing quality higher technical education to the youth of the training providers. Up-skilling training for Bangladeshi migrant workers overseas, especially for managerial skills, is an important goal under the expanded program. Over 240,000 people, 30 percent of them women, will be trained by 2021. The SEIP Tranche 2 program is estimated to cost a total of USD133 million. In addition to the USD100 million ADB assistance, the program is complemented by USD25 million from the Government of Bangladesh, USD4.5 million from the Government of Switzerland, and USD3.5 million from the private sector. The second tranche of the ADB loan will have a 25-year term, including a grace period of 5 years, and an interest rate of 2 percent per annum.