1 Jun 2017 Working Papers
Success, Failure, and Barriers: Case Studies on Skill Development Program Participants of Bangladesh
r4d Working Paper 2017/06 by Abu S. Shonchoy, Selim Raihan and Md. Mahedi Hassan
ABSTRACT: We study participants of a targeted skill-training program, which was implemented by a local Non-Government Organization (NGO) to help young members of extreme poor families attaining skills to secure jobs in Ready Made Garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh. Employing mix method technique – by combining qualitative structured detailed interview and quantitative survey data – we focused on training and migration decisions of individuals, which enabled us to explore deeper insights of the ground reality of factory work and training program in countries like Bangladesh. We observe that the key motivation for poor villagers to participate in this training program was the expectation of higher income in the RMG sector. However, we observed that many participants returned back to their villages, although their income in rural areas are not higher than that of the migrants, which pose a puzzle of why some of the participants returned back after the training and initial migration. Our detailed case study and quantitative evidence suggest that, other than family obligations and challenging working conditions in factories, cost of living is a major obstacle faced by the urban factory workers, which captures a major portion of their earnings and deteriorates potentials for sending remittance back home. Also, the rising wage of seasonal agricultural work and low cost of living in rural areas attract many to return to their respective villages and not to migrate out of the village in the future, even though they have the limited and infrequent seasonal income opportunities.