The Effects of Skill Training on Livelihoods

School dropout rate in Bangladesh is estimated to be about 40 per cent at the secondary level. The majority of the dropouts is most likely to remain unemployed or, if employed, engaged in low paying and hazardous work in the informal sector. With the aim of producing a well-trained and empowered youths, BRAC initiated ‘Skills Training for Advancing Resources (STAR)’ programme in 2012. The programme provides onthe-job and classroom training in various informal trades to disadvantaged school dropout adolescents aged between 14-18 years. This study estimates the effects of the programme on employment, earning levels, financial assets, empowerment and household level welfare. The results show that the intervention succeeded
in increasing labour market participation and earnings of the adolescents. The magnitude of the effect on earning is about six times the baseline mean level of earnings. Increased earnings of the adolescents translated into household welfare– as proxied by food expenditures and durable asset holdings. Evidences also show the positive effects of the programme on enhancing empowerment, improving selfconfidence, and preventing substance abuse. Further, the intervention appears to have improved work place environment and job satisfaction among school dropouts. The cost-benefit ratio of the intervention is found to be about 1:3.

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