IFC/BWB bring skills to workers via women empowerment programme

7 Feb 2017

7 February 2017

Dhaka – Better Work Bangladesh and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) are implementing a project funded by Japan and the World Bank Group, providing 240 female garment workers in Bangladesh with the training they need to reach their full potential inside their factories.

Known as the “Work Progression and Productivity Toolkit,” the project covers 30 factories enrolled with the ILO/IFC Better Work programme and offers technical training, as well as soft skills coaching, to the factories’ best machine operators interested in occupying supervisory positions.

The training also aims to raise the workers’ knowledge of the different processes carried out inside the factory, which eventually reflects on their task and leads to an overall increase in productivity.

“In Bangladesh’s RMG sector, four out of every five production line workers are female whilst only one in ten supervisors is a woman,” said Eleonore Richardson, IFC’s Programme Manager.

“This means 90 percent of the managerial talent in factories emerges from 20 percent of the workforce, resulting in the inability to fully exploit the potential of its workforce. This training will allow factory managers to tap into the full potential of the workforce by allowing greater career progression opportunities for women.”

The programme started in November 2016 and will run until the end of the year. Ideas to scale it up are on the table, as initial responses from the factories show positive results.

“We get complaints from the factories that they cannot promote these women because they lack the skills to be managers and supervisors,” Better Work Bangladesh Programme Manager Louis Vanegas said.

“We expect that when the training is over and the workers apply to a higher level job, the management would help them through the process and promote them as soon as an appropriate vacancy opens up.”

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