Melandah Employment Project (MEP)
Beginning of the Project: MEP was initiated by Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, former Principal Coordinator (SDG), Honourable Prime Minister’s Office on 28 July ’19 through a meeting at United Group Corporate office in presence of the Group Chairman and the managing Director. The aim was to create a model to eradicate unemployment from Melandah UZ which should pave the way to address unemployment of Jamalpur district as a whole. It was unanimously decided to go ahead with the project and United Trust was made the Principal Coordinator of the project.
Unemployment Survey: For effective planning, Trust wanted to know the magnitude of the project and the mind of the unemployed youths. As such, a detail survey was planned to get a clear picture. A team of 30 youths was quickly selected and trained by an expert team from TMSS. Then 8 small teams were formed to carry out detail digital survey of 12 Unions and 2 Pourashova that encompassed whole of Melandah UZ and Shidhuli Union of Motherganj UZ. Survey commenced on 25 August and ended on 30 November ’19.
Outcome of Survey: Survey found out 14,216 unemployed youths with academic qualifications between classes VIII to Masters. Male to female ratio is almost 50:50. Unions with high unemployment rates are: Mahmudpur (15%), Ghosherpara (13%), Banipakuria (10%), Durmut (10%) and Jhaugara (10%). Unions with lowest unemployment are: Hajrabari (2%), Nangla (3%), Nayanagar (4%) and Shidhuli (4%).
Skill Development choices: Total 19 Trade Courses were offered in choice list during survey. Respondents availed almost all given options. Top choice list includes: ICT related courses (5,222), Dress Making and Tailoring (2,168), Micro Finance (1,016), Nursing (911), Cattle Farming (672) and Electrical & House Wiring (625).
Mobilization and Training Teams: For organizing the training methodically, a ‘Mobilization Team’ (5 persons) and a ‘Training Team’ (4 persons) were formed and trained. They are responsible for: keeping survey and training record up to date, mobilize right kind of trainees for right kind of trade, prepare training venues, select training institutions, select good trainers, and monitor their status after training.
Broad Strategy for Training: It was decided that the High-end and equipment oriented trainings will be organized in collaboration with different training partners (GOs and NGOs). Other trainings will be organized under United Trust’s own supervision. Such training venues for female trainees will be organized close to their vicinity. Govt. or recognized NGO’s standard course curriculum will be followed. Good quality trainers will be selected, if necessary from Dhaka.
Duration of the Project: Arranging skill development training for 14,000 youths is indeed a gigantic task. But, United Trust took this challenge for the betterment of the society. This project was declared as special project with greater priority authorizing mobilizing all kinds of resources from any part of the country. Project duration has been calculated to be approximately 3 years i.e. up to the end of 2022.