Center of Excellence for Leather Skills
Center of Excellence for Leather Skills


Traditionally, the leather sector of Bangladesh recruited young men and women for entry-level jobs with zero skill level. In such cases, the jobs lacked sustainability and there was an acute shortage of skilled workers in the sector. Therefore, skilled workers migrated from one factory/zone to another and the shortage of skilled worker gradually increased.  

Bangladesh with its immense populace is on the top edge now to skill manpower to turn it into an economic wheel from the traditional unproductive icon. Government Bodies, Donor Agencies, NGOs and Private sector led stakeholders initiated many programs for the last couple of years in Bangladesh on this burning issue without coming up with a impactful result.


  • Identifying sectorial skill needs and gaps;
  • Addressing the skill gaps by designing sector specific skill training programs;
  •  Providing skill training to unemployed job seeking youths;
  • Sustainable employment generation for skilled youths by job placement after training;

The main challenge for the skill development system in Bangladesh is to overcome its inadequate orientation to the labor market. Formal providers of technical and vocational education and training do not have strong linkages with the private sector employers that drive the changing patterns of labor demand, nor do they have proper incentives to build those connections, which would ensure that skill development courses are relevant and useful to potential new employees and the employers.

It is now unanimously accepted in Bangladesh that a concerted effort between all agencies is needed for workplace skills development, which would be led by market driven forces (e.g. industry stakeholders) to make the impact more sustainable for both industries and the people of Bangladesh.

Towards a Solution

Centre of Excellence for leather Skill Bangladesh Ltd (COEL) is Bangladesh’s first institute of its kind. Objective of COEL is to increase and improve the overall skill level of the workforce of the leather sector. The training centre of COEL is situated at Pallibiddut, Chandra, Gazipur that serves as the hub of COEL’s Leather Skill Training Programs. For now, this 12,000 Sqft area has an up to date setup to carry out professional training program for 300 trainees at a time. Other than the main training centre COEL with joint collaboration with the interested factories are in the process of establishing sub centres to increase the productivity of the respective factories. Driven by the needs of enormous skilled labor force and increased growth of the leather industry, a group of key industry stakeholders formed a formal committee as Industry Skill Council (ISC) with the facilitation of EC funded TVET Reform Project of ILO, an initiative of Government.


  • To operate as one stop solution for industry driven training, research, course curriculum development and other skills development events while building its own capacity through international accreditation, certification and public private partnership (PPP);
  • To look after the policy & procedures, advocacy, and monitor industry skill development practices.


  • Develop policy for partnerships with the training providers and support improvement of skills programs in school, college, industry and enterprise;
  • Develop industry specific skills development policies and practices;;
  •  Develop industry’s capability to deliver in the skills training and upgrade the employees in order to improve productivity and enhance the welfare of employees;
  • Advocate and facilitate workforce development activities;
  •  Provide leadership and strategic advice to the initiative on skills development needs and priorities for industry.


  • 16500+ Machine Operators trained;
  • 4500+ Mid Level Managers;
  • 152 trainee Supervisors trained;
  • 30 Machine Maintenance Technicians trained;
  • 43 trainees trained Competency Based Training on NTVQF Level 1;
  • COEL has 14 BTEB certified trainers & assessors.

The overall impact of the implementation of this initiative was well adjusted by the beneficiaries. Trainees were positive about the initial period of planned training that they had undertaken prior to becoming employed and hence their capacity increased. The initiative also enabled employed apprentices to settle more quickly into their work responsibilities. The trainees completed the training program with high motivation level and that they did not have to spend too long to get a job placement after training due to the design of this model which includes on the job training procedure. This initiative now acts as a one-stop skill solution for the whole Bangladesh leather sector.

Contact Information

From SSN4PSI: Asad-Uz-Zaman, Secretariat, Focal person - SSN4PSI From COEL : Mominul Ahsan, CEO,

Supported by

GIZ, Ministry of Finance, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh ( LFMEAB-SEIP), Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation SDC, International Labor Organization, European Union

Countries involved


Implementing Entities

Leather Technologists Small and Medium Enterprises Cooperative Society, Bangladesh Paduka Prostutkarak Shamity, Gana Unnonoyon Kendra, BRAC, CRP-Bangladesh, Action on Diasability & Development Bangladesh, Leathergoods & Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh, Social Development Foundation

Project Status


URL of the practice

Primary SDG

01 - No Poverty

Secondary SDGs

08 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
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