B-SkillFUL - Desarrollo de habilidades laborales para desempleados y subempleados (ingl.)

Building Skills for Unemployed and Underemployed Labour (B-SkillFUL) aims to improve the well-being of poor and disadvantaged men and women by increasing their access to the labour market and increasing their income, while safeguarding their fundamental labour rights.
 Almost two million workers join the Bangladeshi workforce each year and settle mainly in the informal sector, given their lack of relevant skills. However, workers and employers in the informal sector, where around 80% of jobs are created, lack knowledge on legal and regulatory frameworks and are largely unaware of what decent work practices entail. As a result, workers in informal sector enterprises are subject to dangerous working conditions and exploitation. Although the lack of knowledge on these issues has been marginally addressed in recent years, especially after the serious accidents in the handmade clothing sector, the practice (of decent work) is mainly limited to the formal sectors.
Bhairab, Bangladesh
Bogura, Bangladesh
Gazipur, Bangladesh
Hazaribag, Bangladesh
Narayanganj, Bangladesh
Rangpur, Bangladesh
Saidpur, Bangladesh
Duración del proyecto
2015 - 2024
Financiado por
  • Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación COSUDE

El proyecto

Phase I (2015-2020)

The first phase of B-SkillFUL facilitated training for over 40,000 men and women in demand driven skills and placed at least 70% of them in gainful employment. Among them 96% are earning BDT 5,000 or above per month. This ensured access to the labour market for the unemployed labourers and provided higher employment opportunities for the underemployed ones.

The programme also worked towards improving workplace conditions by increasing awareness of enterprise owners about the inherent benefits of a decent work environment. Special attention was paid to women (who are 55% of the total target population), ethnic and religious minority groups and people with disabilities. The programme facilitated the implementation of training programs through local training service providers (TSPs) in Dinajpur, Joypurhat, Bogura, Tangail, Gazipur and Jashore.  

The intervention areas of B-SkillFUL Phase I were the following:

  • Raise awareness among the beneficiaries about benefits and opportunities for skills training and other social issues
  • Facilitate delivery of demand-driven skills training for wage and self-employment
  • Facilitate certification of trained graduates from TSPs and Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB)
  • Foster linkages of trainees, graduates, TSPs with financial institutions
  • Support TSPs to link with enterprises to conduct workplace-based training and job placement
  • Assist in establishing a cell within the IS-ISC for raising awareness among informal sector enterprises on LRDW issues

Phase II (2020-2024)

As of September 2020, B-SkillFUL commenced Phase II operations focusing on skills and enterprise development, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swisscontact. The programme contributes to Switzerland’s overall goal in Bangladesh, which is to bring about a more equitable society that enjoys inclusive and sustainable growth, aligned with the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations.

B-SkillFUL Phase II aims to improve productivity and competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and create better jobs by providing Business Development Services (BDS) to at least 800 SMEs and Workplace Based Training (WBT) to at least 13,000 new and existing workers. The programme operates across six districts in Bangladesh and in three growth sectors: furniture making, light engineering and leather goods.  It also promotes improved working conditions, gender equity, social inclusion, and more environmentally sustainable practices among participating SMEs.   

Recognising the importance of domestic economic recovery in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic, B-SkillFUL Phase II offers customised solutions for SMEs to improve technical and management capabilities, modernise production methods, diversify products and services, expand into new markets, and ensure safe and decent working conditions for workers. The solutions are designed to address specific constraints identified at the sector and SME levels.

The programme also creates opportunities for coaching, mentoring, and providing advisory services to SMEs through Business Development Service (BDS) providers. These services include business planning, human resource development, product design, production improvements, inventory control, marketing, and finance. BDS providers can gain access and opportunities to engage with SMEs in peri-urban and rural areas and expand their clientele beyond the major cities.

The two major intervention areas include:

  • workplace-based training, coaching and mentoring services for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers and management staff at SMEs; and
  • specialised BDS targeting production methods and working conditions in SMEs.


By 2024, B-SkillFUL Phase II will ensure:

  • At least 12’000 workers and 1’000 management staff at SMEs have improved their employability and performances at workplaces; and
  • At least 800 SMEs have increased productivity and efficiency, and improved working conditions.


Phase I (2015-2020)

  • 41,427 people completed skills training.
  • 32,917 people have been employed.
  • 356 females enrolled in occupations that are traditionally occupied only by men.
  • 3,339 enterprises have been sensitised on Labour Rights and Decent Work (LRDW) issues.
  • More than 850,000 people reached through awareness raising campaigns.
  • 32 Training Service Providers (TSPs) are providing training and continue to do so in demand driven skills.
  • 2 Grassroots Organisations (GROs) sensitise the local population to the benefits of training.
  • 1 cell has been established within Informal Sector Industry Skills Council (IS-ISC) to promote LRDW issues among informal enterprises and mainstream it in the national curricula.
  • Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB) has published the units of competency on decent work – a list of criteria against which decent work conditions for labours across Bangladesh is measured - on their national website.
  • 504 graduates have been linked with financial institutions, as a result of which, they have acquired loan for business start-ups.