Youth volunteers at Policy Camp in Chittagong suggested extending the training duration of the mandatory Pre-departure Training (PDT) as well as shifting the timing of the training to the beginning of the migration processing for the Bangladeshi migrants.

According to the current policy of the government, every Bangladeshi has to undertake a 3-day Pre Departure Training (PDT) at their local Technical Training Centers. The PDT is designed to provide an overall guideline of traveling and living overseas along with necessary cautions required for processing migration. However, most of the training content is beneficial in avoiding middleman or dealing them better only if the knowledge is transferred earlier. Once all the processing is done, only then the migrants (those migrating in few weeks or month) attend the PDTs. Thus the utility of the training remain limited.

The 5-day long training workshop was held from 22nd July to 26th July 2018 in Chittagong with 20 local youths of IID’s youth network Youth for Policy who is already volunteering in different fields of their interest. Apart from giving an overview of the formal policymaking process in Bangladesh, they were given a brief idea of the migration related policies and current situation in Bangladesh. For a first-hand experience, the trainees were taken to visit the two local Technical Training Centres (TTC) in Barishal where they interviewed the TTC principles, trainers and the Pre-departure (PDT) trainees.

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Drawing on the field experiences, trainees analyzed and identified the major problems in the PDT training. Among the significant issues were the short duration of the training, need for residential arrangement; medium of training delivery and timing of the training. They also came up with suggestions to address these issues and discussed the plausibility and scope of those suggestions to be considered for inclusion in Bangladeshi public policy.

The trainees also had the opportunity to share their recommendations with a local government representative from the department of social services and the TTC principles. They clarified the government’s already undertaken steps that could possibly address the language and residential arrangement issues. However, they also agreed with the limited time duration of the Pre-departure training and urged that it should be extended to minimum 7-days to prepare the future migrants with all necessary life skills for adapting in a foreign land.