Navigating the Skills Landscape: A Look at Industry/Sector Skill Councils in Bangladesh, India, Saudi Arabia, and Ghana

Navigating the Skills Landscape: A Look at Industry/Sector Skill Councils in Bangladesh, India, Saudi Arabia, and Ghana


In today’s dynamic job market, continuous skill development is crucial for both individuals and economies. Industry/Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) play a vital role in bridging the skills gap by setting competency standards, facilitating training, and certifying qualified professionals. This article explores the landscape of SSCs in Bangladesh, India, Saudi Arabia, and Ghana, highlighting key features and approaches.

Public-Private Collaboration at the Core

A common thread across all four countries is the emphasis on public-private partnerships in establishing and governing SSCs. This collaboration ensures industry involvement in shaping training programs that align with current and future workforce needs. Bangladesh (BSDC), India (NSDC), and Saudi Arabia (TVTC) all leverage strong industry participation in their council structures.

National Qualifications Frameworks: Setting the Standards

Each country has a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) that provides a standardized structure for qualifications across different educational and training pathways. The Bangladesh Skills Framework (BSF), India’s NSQF, Saudi Arabia’s NQF, and Ghana’s Ghana Qualifications Framework (GQF) ensure consistency and comparability of skills certifications.

Beyond Standards: A Look at Additional Functions

While all SSCs focus on competency standards and skill certification, their roles extend further. India’s NSDC plays a proactive role in funding skill development initiatives. Saudi Arabia’s TVTC goes a step beyond by approving training providers and conducting competency assessments. Ghana’s COTVET regulates TVET institutions and licenses assessors.

The Rise of Online Learning

The increasing adoption of online learning platforms is a trend observed in India, Ghana, and potentially Bangladesh. This shift allows for greater flexibility and accessibility in skill development programs. Saudi Arabia, while lacking readily available information on online learning initiatives, may also be exploring this approach.

Funding Mechanisms: A Varied Landscape

The funding models for SSCs differ. India and Bangladesh rely on levies from industries and government grants. Saudi Arabia primarily uses government funding, while Ghana incorporates development partner support alongside government funding.

Looking Ahead: International Collaboration and Labor Market Analysis

Collaboration with international skill development organizations is a growing trend. India actively engages with such bodies, and similar initiatives might be underway in other countries. Furthermore, a focus on labor market analysis to identify skill gaps and inform training strategies is emerging in India and Ghana, potentially paving the way for more targeted skill development programs across the region.

Here’s an expanded table comparing Industry/Sector Skill Councils with additional features:

Feature Bangladesh (BSDC) India (NSDC) Saudi Arabia (TVTC) Ghana (COTVET)
Council Name Bangladesh Skills Development Council National Skill Development Corporation Technical and Vocational Training Corporation Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training
Focus Industry-wide skill development Skill development across all sectors Technical and vocational training Technical and vocational education and training
Established By Public-Private Partnership Public-Private Partnership Government Body Government Body
Key Functions Develops competency standards, certifies skills, facilitates training delivery Develops competency standards, certifies skills, facilitates training delivery, funds skill development initiatives Develops national qualifications frameworks, approves training providers, conducts competency assessments Develops national qualifications frameworks, regulates TVET institutions, licenses assessors
Industry Involvement Strong industry participation in council governance Strong industry participation in council governance Industry involvement in program development Industry involvement in curriculum development and skills standards
National Qualification Framework Bangladesh Skills Framework (BSF) National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Ghana Qualifications Framework (GQF)
Online Learning Growing focus on online learning platforms Online learning options available for some programs Limited information on online learning initiatives Growing focus on online learning and e-learning resources
Funding Levies on industries, government grants Levies on industries, government grants, private sector contributions Government funding Government funding, development partner support
International Collaboration Limited information Collaborations with international skill development organizations Collaborations with international skill development organizations (e.g., WorldSkills) Collaborations with international skill development organizations (e.g., African Union)
Labor Market Analysis Emerging focus on labor market analysis to inform skill development strategies Conducts regular labor market analysis to identify skill gaps Limited information on labor market analysis Growing focus on labor market analysis for skills forecasting
Apprenticeship Programs Limited information on apprenticeship programs Promotes apprenticeship programs through partnerships Extensive apprenticeship programs offered by TVTC Growing focus on integrating apprenticeship programs with TVET


Limitations as my view 


here’s some limitations of the four Industry/Sector Skill Councils in my point of view

Feature Bangladesh (BSDC) India (NSDC) Saudi Arabia (TVTC) Ghana (COTVET)
Limited Information Access to comprehensive data on BSDC’s functions, funding, and international collaboration is limited. Limited information on online learning initiatives. Limited information on apprenticeship programs.
Focus on Delivery NSDC may prioritize funding and facilitating training delivery over in-depth labor market analysis for some sectors, potentially leading to skills gaps in emerging fields. Focus might be on regulating TVET institutions and assessments, potentially limiting flexibility in program design and responsiveness to industry needs.
Industry Influence While industry is involved, the extent of their influence on curriculum development beyond broad program design needs further evaluation.
Apprenticeship Integration Information on apprenticeship programs offered through BSDC is limited. Extensive programs exist, but integration with broader TVET programs might be limited, hindering a holistic approach to skill development. Growing focus, but stronger integration efforts could be beneficial to ensure practical skill development alongside theoretical knowledge.
Funding Dependence Reliant on levies and government grants, which might restrict resources for broader skill development initiatives, such as research or developing new training methodologies. Reliant on levies, grants, and private contributions, but financial sustainability for long-term programs needs monitoring, especially with potential economic fluctuations. Primarily dependent on government funding, limiting agility in adopting new technologies or program designs due to bureaucratic processes. Reliant on government funding and development partners, but attracting private sector investment could broaden the funding base and potentially lead to more industry-aligned programs.
Online Learning Growth is underway, but the reach and effectiveness of online programs require further assessment. Infrastructure limitations in remote areas and a lack of digital literacy among target demographics could hinder accessibility. Limited options currently available. Information lacking, but potential limitations in infrastructure, pedagogical approaches for online training, and ensuring quality control of online learning materials need consideration. Growing focus, but ensuring quality and accessibility of online resources remains crucial, along with addressing the digital divide.
Standardization and Consistency The breadth and depth of standardized skill certifications offered by BSDC might be limited compared to the other countries. Ensuring consistent quality of training delivery across different training providers affiliated with NSDC could be a challenge. Balancing standardization with the need for customization based on regional industry needs might require further evaluation. The capacity to effectively regulate a potentially large number of TVET institutions across the country to ensure consistent quality of training delivery needs to be addressed.

Additional Considerations:

  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of SSCs’ programs in achieving skill development goals need to be strengthened across all four countries.
  • Scalability and Sustainability: As the demand for skills training grows, the scalability and sustainability of SSCs’ operations need to be addressed. Exploring innovative partnerships and funding models could be crucial.
  • Data Sharing and Collaboration: Encouraging data sharing and collaboration between SSCs could lead to better understanding of regional skill needs and sharing of best practices.

By acknowledging these limitations, these SSCs can work towards continuous improvement and ensure they are effectively equipping individuals with the skills needed to succeed in the job market.



SSCs play a critical role in equipping individuals with the skills needed to thrive in the ever-evolving job market. By fostering public-private partnerships, establishing national qualifications frameworks, and embracing innovation like online learning, these councils are paving the way for a more skilled and competitive workforce across Bangladesh, India, Saudi Arabia, and Ghana.




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