Kickstart: Bangladesh’s female motorcycle service mechanics

Kickstart: Bangladesh’s female motorcycle service mechanics


“When we first joined, people used to doubt
that girls like us can do this. ” To enroll in technical education
in Bangladesh in the past, you would have needed
grade 8 basic education. For many people,
this made becoming a skilled worker, like a service mechanic,
an almost impossible dream. “I used to work at a tea stall. When I learned that boys and girls could become
motorcycle service mechanics here, I came and sat for the test. I started training.” Using a competency-based training approach, which includes basic literacy
and numeracy skills, the Government of Bangladesh,
with the support of the ILO, is introducing programmes
which do not need grade 8. These programmes are recognized under the National Training and
Vocational Qualifications Framework, or NTVQF, part of the government’s
new approach to skills. Training institutions across Bangladesh
are starting to offer these programmes. “We used to work in a modular basis but we are now following
a competency based system. This is the first time UCEP has had
this opportunity to implement this new policy.” Programmes are a mix of
practical training and theoretical lessons. “As a girl,
I have not faced any problems working here. It is a good environment
and I feel safe in every way. I work the whole day,
running here and there, it feels good. I’m thinking of studying again and also
getting a diploma after this course. After that I might even start a workshop.” There are two stages to the training in UCEP. In the first stage, trainees learn off the
job at the UCEP Training Centre. They are then assessed, and if successful,
enter the second stage – on the job training
in local motor cycle service workshops. After completing this, they are assessed a second time
and, if successful, are qualified as motor cycle service mechanics. During the 10 months, the skills of the trainees
are assessed at regular intervals and their progress recorded
in competency log books. Trainees are guided by supervisors and work side by side
with more experienced service mechanics. Trainers regularly visit them
at their workplace to monitor their progress. “Our industries have a large demand
for skilled manpower. These trainees can fill that gap. We have a lot of experienced mechanics
and they are learning from them.” In Rajshahi, Khadija and Moshumi
are getting their hands greasy. “Boys and girls are working here together
– it’s really good. We started working and slowly
we became able to provide good service. When customers saw we could service motorcycles as well
as do other things, they stopped doubting us.” After the trainees graduated, UCEP integrated this programme into
their mainstream training offers and are continuing to equip young men
and women across Bangladesh with the skills to become
motorcycle service mechanics. Could you be Khadija, Nesar or Pinki? Skills in Bangladesh are changing. Safety disclaimer: This video is intended
to illustrate a particular training approach. There are several obvious work safety lapses. Can you identify them?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *