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Inauguration of BILS Academy to increase the capacity to implement a fair and decent working environment

The training department of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies-BILS has started its journey as ‘BILS Academy’ with the aim of fully launching academic training on various issues related to labour and trade unions including national and international labour issues, laws, policies, standards, gender equality, leadership development. The inauguration of BILS Academy was announced through a virtual event on June 14, 2021. BILS Chairman Md. Habibur Rahman Shiraz presided over the opening ceremony of BILS Academy.

Welcoming the inaugural ceremony, BILS Secretary General and Executive Director Nazrul Islam Khan said that so far the main participants of BILS training have been leaders and activists of different levels of the National Trade Union Federation. For the currently employing middle level management in various factories, new labour court lawyers, job seekers and interested youth trade union activists BILS Academy has embarked on a journey to develop knowledge and skills and resolve attitudes towards resolving industrial disputes and labour grievances through social dialogue and collective bargaining to providing training on international labour standards, labour laws and labour rights, development of worker-employer relations, occupational health and safety, the establishment of sustainable industrial relations, effective communication.

Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and BILS Vice Chairman Shirin Akhter, MP, said the journey of BILS Academy would add a new dimension to academic training on labour and trade unions.

Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Labour and Employment Shamsunnahar Bhuiyan, MP, said the training at BILS Academy would enable not only workers or trade union leaders but also mid-level industrialists to play a role in maintaining sound industrial relations.

Former Minister and IndustriAll Bangladesh Council (IBC) President Shahjahan Khan, MP, said the rights of the working people would be protected through the joint efforts of all through the inauguration of BILS Academy.

Noting that BILS has played an important role in launching Massive Open Online courses in regional languages, Global Labour University’s Online Academy Executive Director Adlira Xahfa, said BILS Academy will play an important role in developing the skills of labour rights, including academics, development workers, students, including the training of trade union leaders.

Sramik Nirapotta Forum-SNF Convener Dr. Hameeda Hossain, said that training should play an important role not only for acquiring knowledge but also in the practical field. She called upon the workers of the organisations affiliated with the SNF to get involved in the training program.

Welcoming the BILS Academy Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Research Director Khandaker Golam Moazzem, said that the BILS Academy’s training should be extended not only to workers or trade union leaders but also to others involved in other industries they worked with labour. At the same time, he called upon the industrial relations officers of the factory to make such training compulsory.

SNV’s RMG Inclusive Business Program team leader Parthiba Rahat Khan, said BILS is working for workers even during the COVID-19 pendemic. BILS has conducted about 200 factories training programs with SNV on law and international standards and workers ‘welfare and protection, through which workers’ welfare and safety activities have been started in many factories.

National Coordination Council for Workers Education (NCCWE) Chairman and Jatiya Sramik League Acting President Noor Kutub Alam Mannan, Sramik Karmachary Oikya Parishad (SKOP) Joint Coordinator Shahidullah Chowdhury, Danish Trade Union Development Agency (DTDA) Heda of SRO Peter Lunding, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Bangladesh Resident Representative Felix Kolbitz, Bangladesh Institute of Management (BIAM) Senior Management Councilor and Project Director Md. Mahbub Ul Alam, ILO South Asia Decent Workers Technical Team Workers Activist Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmmed, Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment Rajshahi Mahfuzur Rahman Bhuiyan, BILS Director Kohinoor Mahmood and Nazma Yesmin were present at the opening ceremony. National Trade Union Federation Leaders, Public and Private organisation representatives and Civil Society representatives also present.