Bangladesh Government and ILO partner to support returning migrant workers’ re-integration into the labour force

Cox’s Bazar, known for its pristine beaches and vibrant culture, is on the brink of a transformative journey that will not only enhance the economic prospects of the local host community but will also bring about a positive change in the tourism and hospitality sector. The recent workshop organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) was focused  on the formation of a local Industry Skills Council (ISC) for the Tourism and Hospitality sector. It will monitor and review skill development practices, provide leadership and strategic advice, and foster partnerships between industry and training organizations in the tourism sector.

The initiative stems from a broader project aimed at empowering the Bangladeshi host community in Cox’s Bazar through gender-sensitive, market-relevant skills development. The ILO, in collaboration with UNDP (a2i) and BRAC, is spearheading the implementation, monitoring, and supervision of this initiative. The primary goal is to create employment and self-employment opportunities in growth sectors for the local communities.

Objectives of the workshop

  • Evaluate the current employment scenario in the tourism and hospitality sector of Cox’s Bazar.
  • Establish a local Industry Skills Council to support industry and training institutes in delivering market-driven training programs.
  • Devise a two-year working plan for the sector outlining the ISC’s role in the district.
  • Explore strategies to integrate female trainees into the local industry.

Workshop outcomes

  • A local committee for the ISC-tourism and hospitality with 12 to 15 members in Cox’s Bazar was formed, equipping them with an understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
  • Mapped out and identified destinations for community tourism activities and community-based micro-entrepreneurship development opportunities in the identified destinations.
  • Participants engaged in valuable knowledge sharing regarding policy frameworks and interventions for job creation in the tourism sector.

The Way Forward

The establishment of the local committee for the Industry Skills Council for the Tourism and Hospitality sector in Cox’s Bazar signifies a collaborative effort to drive positive change. This proactive approach, involving government offices, industry associations, and various stakeholders, sets the stage for a more inclusive and sustainable tourism sector. As the two-year plan unfolds, the local community can look forward to enhanced skills, increased job opportunities, and a tourism sector that not only thrives economically but also uplifts the entire community.

In conclusion, the workshop is a crucial step towards realizing the full potential of Cox’s Bazar, making it a beacon for responsible and community-driven tourism. Through skill development and strategic partnerships, the Industry Skills Council promises to be a catalyst for positive change, ensuring that the benefits of tourism are shared equitably among all members of the community.

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