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Postgraduate diploma in knitwear boosts income, productivity

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 28 December, 2022 12:00 AM
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Postgraduate diploma in knitwear boosts income, productivity

Postgraduate Diploma in Knitwear Industry Management (PGD-KIM) boosts monthly income of the graduates by nearly 7 percent, according to a new survey.

After graduation, the diploma also helps in getting at least one promotion and performance bonus.

These findings were shared at a Validation Workshop titled “Effectiveness of Postgraduate Diploma in Knitwear Industry Management (PGD-KIM) on Labour Market Outcomes,” organised by BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) at the BRAC Centre Inn on Tuesday.

The research was conducted by BIGD to measure the effectiveness of the PGD-KIM programme offered  by the Executive Development Center (EDC) at Brac University.

This diploma is supported by the Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP), implemented by the Finance Division, Ministry of Finance with support from Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Chief Guest of the event, Dr. Md. Sanwar Jahan Bhuiyan, Joint Secretary & DEPD, SEIP said, “Given the findings, we can see that the program has potential to nullify the skills gap of workers in the RMG industry.”

He suggested exploring options of including aptitude tests in the admission process of PGD-KIM program for better targeted intake of students. “We can try practical simulations, role-playing, and experimentation to generate more effective outcomes in terms of developing communication and negotiation skills of the graduates,” said Dr Bhuiyan.

Mr. Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, Vice President, BKMEA, joined the event as a special guest. He said, “If the curriculum of the PGD-KIM can be updated in line with the findings of the study then the outcome can be significantly improved.”

He also suggested readjusting course materials which will help improve communication and computer literacy skills of the program students. About employing women in management positions of the industry, he said, “Sometimes there are many sociocultural factors that create barriers for women working in the senior positions. We need to critically explore them.”

A brief presentation on the study was given by BIGD researchers Md Shakil Ahmed and Tanvir Shatil, which was followed by a panel discussion. One of the panelists, Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director, CPD said, “If the diploma can be redesigned to be more specialized, that is, if the courses are more aligned with various departmental specialization, then perhaps people will be more interested in enrolling. Besides, the industry owners can play a role in changing societal perception by employing more females in the management level positions.”

Another panelist, Dr M. Shahadat Hossain Siddiquee, Professor, Department of Economics, DU said, “We need to think if evening courses are causing any structural barrier for the females to continue the program. Industry owners and academic institutions can try to explore if day courses can be offered for this program.”

Dr Siddiquee also suggested conducting surveys to better understand the skills that are in demand in the RMG industry. This will help to form targeted interventions.

Dr. Kazi Iqbal, Senior Research Fellow, BIDS also joined the event as a panelist. He suggested exploring the reasons behind market failures in the RMG sector for which foreigners are hired with higher salaries in the senior management positions instead of Bangladeshi nationals.

In his concluding remarks, Dr Imran Matin, Executive Director, BIGD said, “We will explore ways to improve the delivery and outcome of the PGD-KIM program for the graduates specially for women. Increasing the sharing of women who apply to this program is also crucial. From the next phase, the diploma will be designed to provide specialized training, with more focus on needs of female students. We will also improve the intake of the students through an innovative admission process to amplify the effectiveness of the program.”