The government is working to produce skilled manpower for the shipbuilding industry, and it already trained up a workforce of over 7,500 in three years, officials said.
With the financial support of Asian Development Bank (ADB), the government is developing the manpower at different organisations, including Western Marine Shipyard Limited (WMSL).
Under Skills for Employment Investment Programme (SEIP), the government and the Association of Export Oriented Shipbuilding Industry Bangladesh (AEOSIB) are jointly training up the manpower for enhancing productivity in the sector.
During a visit to WMSL in Chattogram's Patia area on Monday, it was found that workers were being trained up under six different courses -- welding and fabrication, electrical and navigation, machine tools operation, machinery installation, painting, and piping.
WMSL Managing Director Shakhawat Hossain said they were providing their shipyard facilities for the trainees under the SEIP.
"We are developing skilled manpower for the shipbuilding industry, who are getting world-class certificates after completing their three-month training."
Bangladesh's shipbuilding industry is employing more than 80 per cent of the trained manpower, while some of them are getting jobs abroad, he added.
ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash during his visit to WMSL in Chattogram said productivity of the skilled manpower is rising even up to 10 times.
"For example, if a labourer could earn Tk 6,000 per month before training, he can earn Tk 24,000 to Tk 130,000 at home and abroad after completing his training in the institute."
"The main objectve of the ADB-supported SEIP is to enhance the productivity of Bangladeshi non-skilled and semi-skilled manpower. This three-month training can enhance the income of a labourer many times compared to his earlier earnings," he added.
Executive Project Director of SEIP Jalal Ahmed said some 36 labourers have already found jobs in the Middle-Eastern countries, including Oman and Dubai.
"We are hopeful that the trained manpower will get more jobs overseas with better salaries (than in the country), resulting in higher inflow of remittance to the country."
Mr Ahmed further said over the last three years, they trained up 7,565 workers of the shipbuilding industry at 15 institutes across the country under the SEIP.
He said in the first phase of SEIP, the government has set the target of developing 7,000 skilled workers for the industry. The target in the second phase is 5,000 by 2020, and in the third phase 9,000 more by 2024.
Captain M Habibur Rahman, Chief Coordinator of AEOSIB-SEIP, said the success rate of the training courses under the programme is 87.86 per cent, as the skilled workers are getting world-class DNV-GL and BTEB certificates.
The government and AEOSIB started the training for developing manpower for the shipbuilding industry in 2015.
ADB is providing US$350 million funds for the government's $445.5-million SEIP.
The Manila-based lender has provided $100 million in the first tranche between 2014 and 2018, while another $100 million in the second tranche between 2017 and 2020.
In the third tranche, ADB has planned to provide assistance amounting to $150 million up to 2024 for developing manpower in Bangladesh's different sectors.