Role of Apprenticeship in Development

Bangladesh Education Article
Bangladesh Education Article
Written by Editor
GAZI MAHBUBUL ALAM, PhD


Apprenticeship process was introduced in Bangladesh in the 1850 through an act designed by the British Administration. Given the nature of the 1850’s act, it was found to be inadequate to function properly these days. This resulted in a new ordinance in 1962. Through this ordinance, 54 candidates received apprenticeship in 2008 under the umbrella of BMET.

While the developed countries mainly depend on formal provision of apprenticeship, Bangladesh covers this through informal provision, albeit the country has invested a significant amount of fund for formal provision. Aprenticeship can help a country to increase worker productivity. The increase of worker productivity always provides a higher salary potential. This higher salary packages affect ‘Money market’ if the proper banking system takes place and this is how country gains more sustainable development.

The apprenticeship is about helping people learn new skills and improve their existing ones. Some trainers are employed within an organisation to run training programmes for new recruits, or to assess the needs of existing staff and help them develop their skills. There are also consultancy companies that offer specialised training programmes, such as computer skills or management techniques. Direct training and support targets people with a specific training need. This type of training teaches clients how to do something, and then supports the learning process until the client is confident enough to do it independently. After receiving this Advanced Apprenticeship, anyone can choose between learning and development or direct training and support. The area of expertise will depend on the employer – but it would be sensible to go for a specialism that interests the apprentice. Whether working one-to-one or with a big group of people, trainees need confidence, patience and creativity. Within the apprenticeship process, Bangladesh needs to respond to following issues with due importance.
Administration and Human Resources: A large portion of the national workforce are administrators of some sort. Their job is to make sure systems run smoothly, whether they’re overseeing billion-taka transactions or ordering stationery. Human Resources (HR) work with management in recruiting and training new staff, as well as dealing with personal issues and disciplinary matters, holiday entitlements and making adjustments for people with disabilities to dealing with stress or bullying. Employers are crying out for trained administrators. Show a flair for organisation, efficiency and communication, and apprentice could soon find himself/herself promoted to team leader, junior manager or personal assistant. Before apprentice knows it, he/she will be running the place.

Agriculture and land-based services: The sector is worth more than US $8.9 billion per year, but that’s only part of it. This industry improves our quality of life: supplying food, producing crops, enriching the landscape and protecting our heritage. People we will come across include farm workers, gardeners, fencing contractors, tree surgeons and gamekeepers. Creative and caring people can find fulfilling work in areas such as floristry or veterinary nursing. There are also technical roles on offer, such as land-based engineering, and many management opportunities. All of the ‘apprenticeships’ in this section offer the chance to develop practical, technical and specialised skills with opportunities for career progression. If we have always wanted to be our own boss, this is a good place to start – more than half the workforce run their own business.

Arts creative and cultural industries: If anyone enjoys the buzz of helping to create something, then working in the creative sector could be inspiring, fun and rewarding. It’s a competitive, but relevant work experience, such as an ‘apprenticeship’ will help you get a break. This is a fairly big sector. Apprentices will find most opportunities in Dhaka, but there are openings for creative types in most places. Apprentice could be a games tester searching for glitches in new computer games, or help rig the lighting for a playhouse. Apprentice could learn to build film sets, or how to work the machines that manufacture clothing. Alternatively, apprentice could work in the office of a busy record label or help promote a live event. Apprentice could even take on a more socially-engaged role by working for a community arts programme.

Broadcast, film and media: Broadcast media is about getting people’s attention. It’s an exciting, fast-paced industry that is constantly coming up with new ways of grabbing an audience. Areas include filmmaking, television, radio, computer games, and photo imaging. However, everyday the boundaries between them blur as computer animation plays a bigger role in films, films spawn spin-off computer games, and television channels have accompanying websites. This is a demanding industry, often requiring long hours and strict deadlines – but rewards are high and few industries offer such a creative buzz. Competition for jobs is stiff, so apprentice will need drive and enthusiasm to get ahead. Practical experience rates high, so ‘apprenticeships’ are a great way of getting your foot in the door.

Automotive industry and passenger transport: Motor vehicles have changed life beyond recognition. This is a vast and vital industry. The retail motor industry deals with all aspects of cars, vans, and motorcycles. Apprentice could find himself/her selling fixing cars after an accident, changing tyres, or rescuing stranded motorists. The passenger transport sector is equally large, employing hundreds of thousands of people to run, drive, and support transport, from planes to trains, coaches and buses. Many jobs need manual and mechanical skills, but customer service and communication are important as anyone will be coming face-to-face with the public. Some roles require shift work. Cars break down all the time and someone has to load the baggage onto those 6 am flights. However, the prospects are good and there are opportunities to travel, too.

Chemical, oil and nuclear industry: Pretty much every object has been processed or manufactured somehow – which is why this industry is so important. It’s all about producing things on an industrial scale, keeping all the other industries going. After all, construction firms couldn’t build without bricks and concrete, supermarkets wouldn’t be able to stock their shelves without packaged food, doctors couldn’t treat people without pharmaceuticals…we get the idea. There are opportunities available throughout the world, though some industries are concentrated in certain places such as manufacturing in all over the country. Now that goods are increasingly made overseas where costs are lower, the country has to compete by being hi-tech and efficient as possible. That means there’s a demand for skilled workers, not just production-line robots.

Customer service and retail: A satisfied customer is a good advert for your business, and likely to buy from you again. An unhappy customer isn’t. In a small shop, customer service can be as simple as the person behind the counter giving a friendly greeting. Larger organisations might employ a whole customer service team to answer questions, give advice and offer refunds on faulty products. Customer service often involves dealing with the public face-to-face, but telephone call centres and computer helpdesks are becoming increasingly important. Businesses also need to find new customers and persuade them to buy things. Marketing is about telling people how great your company or product is – maybe through advertising or sponsorship. Sales is the art of persuading people to part with their money – that might mean ‘cold calling’ over the phone or entertaining a potential client at the races.

Financial services: Money makes the world go. Almost every business wants to make money, and that doesn’t happen automatically. Companies big and small need people to look after their finances. It’s not just businesses that need help with money. From students taking loans, to couples getting a mortgage, to retired people claiming their pension, everyone needs financial assistance at some stage. Employees in banks, accountants and insurance companies offer that help. Again, people working in these roles are organised and good with numbers – but they need to be good with people too. Anyone will be working towards a qualification that should see you earn a good salary in future, he/she be learning to manage your own finances as well as other people’s, and be earning while learning process continues. And as jobs in the finance sector are usually well rewarded, apprentice could find himself/herself, quite literally, “in the money”.

Hospitality and travel: The hospitality and travel sector covers everything from hotels and clubs through to events, gambling and travel services. These industries are fast growing with potential. Apprentice could be sweating away in the kitchen or mixing drinks at the bar. There’s a lot of night and weekend work, and time spent on your feet – but it’s a young and vibrant sector. Travel and tourism is a huge industry too. Employees like travel agents and tour operators serve customers, communicate with clients and suppliers, sort out queries and promote products. An interest in travel and tourism is a must. Hospitality opportunities don’t end at our shores. An apprenticeship in this sector could be your passport to a Caribbean island, a cruise down the Nile or a casino in Monte Carlo. But this isn’t a holiday on the beach – jobs in these industries are hard work, often involving long hours that play havoc with your social life. However, it’s a lifestyle that suits many outgoing people.

Information technology (IT) and communications: The IT sector can be divided into two categories: companies that provide IT services (software consultants, web developers etc) and those that use IT within their business (pretty much everyone else). In Bangladesh, a significant portion of people work in IT these days and there’s a range of roles. Some have a large technical element – programming, software testing, systems analysis and so forth. Others deal with the use of IT in areas like project management, finance and communication. This sector also covers telecommunications, as the boundary between IT and other forms of electronic communication is blurring all the time. Take your mobile phone – it’s also a sophisticated computer, media player and camera. With this industry come job roles in aerial rigging, network planning, satellite communications and engineering. Sales and customer service are important too. The IT industry moves incredibly quickly, so apprentice will need to be able to adapt to new technology – revolutionary, world-changing ideas come thick and fast.

Property: The most expensive thing that a person will ever buy is likely to be a house, and the process of buying one involves many people. The seller appoints an estate agent to value the property, to advertise it, to show around potential buyers, and to manage the sale. The buyer may employ a home inspector to check over the property: it’s their job to examine the property inside and out, and advise on any potential problems. Agents are also employed to let properties. Everybody needs a roof over their head. That means the property sector also needs to provide housing for people who can’t afford to buy or rent a house on the commercial market: subsidised housing for families on a low income, sheltered homes for the elderly, hostels for the homeless or temporary accommodation for asylum seekers. There’s more to property than just housing, though. There’s a vast range of premises, from corner shops and shopping centres to offices and hospitals. Most larger organisations employ facilities managers to look after buildings. Jobs are available across the country – wherever there are buildings, there’s a property sector.

Marine industry: About 95 per cent of country’s international trade is operated through sea. Boats play a part in our leisure lives as well. The fleet of ships that transports goods and people over the seas is called the Merchant Navy. Work on board is broadly divided between two departments. The deck department is in charge of navigating and ‘driving’ the ship, while the engineering department makes sure the engines and all the machinery are running smoothly. Either way, it’s a far cry from your typical office job: apprentice could be at sea for months at a time, although he/she will get plenty of leave when you’re back on shore. Shipbuilding is an important industry, too. Gone are the days of vast shipyards, but we still produce plenty of yachts, powerboats, sailing dinghies and the like. And there’s a lot of associated equipment and services, such as electronics and engines. In this industry, there’s no set career pattern, so those with a wide range of skills tend to get ahead – making an Apprenticeship a great option.

In conclusion, the writer notes that in order make the apprenticeship all concerned the apprentice, the employer and the government need to work together. Although apprenticeship doesn’t prove an immediate return to employers and trainees, it provides a long term benefit. This programme helps country to gain sustainable development. Bangladesh needs to pay an especial attention on it. More employers are recognising the benefits of offering their own Apprenticeship Programme, not least because of the challenge to recruit and develop the workforce in the face of stiff competition from other sectors. And if health employers are facing the challenge, it’s a safe bet that employers in other sectors have cottoned on to the challenge too.


Author: Department of Educational Management, Planning & Policy, Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Email: [email protected]

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