Training the Disadvantaged Youth and Labour Market Outcomes Evidence from a Randomised Controlled Trial in Bangladesh


This paper estimates the effects of a youth training programme in Bangladesh on labour market outcomes. The programme provides on-thejob and classroom training to the disadvantaged and unemployed youth. On-the-job training is provided through apprenticeship under a local master crafts person. Classroom training curriculum includes theoretical training on specific trades as well as soft-skills training. The programme is implemented by BRAC, the largest NGO in the world. BRAC’s Research and Evaluation Division (BRAC-RED) conducted a Randomised Controlled Trial on the 2016 cohort of the programme. A baseline survey was conducted in June 2016 covering 3,186 youths. In June-July 2016 a follow-up survey was conducted, successfully reaching 2,946 youths. Using the data generated by BRACRED, I show that on-the-job training increases labour market participation of the programme participants by 22.6 percentage points (59%), total time devoted to earning activities by 59%, and earnings by 44%. It increases both self- and wage employment. The effect on employment is found to be larger for females. Additional effects of classroom training over on-the-job training on overall employment and earnings are small in magnitude. Results, however, indicate that if classroom training is added to on-the-job training, the effects shift from self- to wage employment. Results also show that employment in firms where the apprenticeship took place is a channel for the effect on wage employment. The benefit-cost ratio for on-the-job training is estimated to be 6.34, demonstrating high returns on the investment made under this initiative. I also show that, at the scale at which the programme was implemented, employment effects for beneficiaries were not achieved through displacement of non-beneficiaries.

Keywords: On-the-job training, Classroom training, Soft skills training,
Labour market, Wage employment.

Related information

  • Writer Name: Narayan Das
  • Published Date: Wednesday, 14 November 2018
  • Country: Bangladesh