Study on migration pattern on workforce in RMG sector for positioning RMG related skill training centers.
This study identifies the migration pattern of RMG workers in Bangladesh. Structured questionnaire survey was used to investigate the research questions of the study. The questionnaires were administered on 1065 workers of eleven knit and woven RMG factories in Dhaka city, Gazipur, Chittagong and Narayanganj. It was revealed in the study that RMG migrated workers were mostly from Dhaka division followed by Rangpur, Barisal, Rajshahi, Chittagong, and Khulna divisions. The least number of migrant workers were from Sylhet division.
The result suggests change of profession by small farmers or agricultural workers in the country. Bangladesh is an agricultural country and many people earn their living through agriculture. Land around the district of Dhaka is decreasing quickly. Therefore, small land owners are unable to keep their land due to increasing demand of land from the rich, making small farmers landless and pushing them to migrate to other places for their livelihood. The findings of the study are consistent with the regional poverty levels of Bangladesh. Rangpur and Barisal have the highest poverty level and Sylhet has the lowest poverty level. Overall Dhaka and Chittagong divisions have the highest number of poor people while Sylhet division has lowest number of poor people. The finding of the survey shows that migrated RMG workers are mostly from regions of poverty and areas where there is scarcity of farming land.
The study finds that the demand for efficient and skilled manpower in garment industry has increased in recent times. The survey result shows that most of the workers got their job in RMG factories through a test without the help of friends and relatives. This finding is in sharp contrast to the study of Zahir and Paul-Mazumder (1996) done in the mid-nineties which found that most RMG workers got their jobs through friends and relatives. It is, however, identified in the survey that most RMG workers did not have any formal RMG related training but learnt the job while working as helpers in garment factories. Only a few workers got training from training centres. This finding indicates lack of formal training facilities for the garment workers in Bangladesh. The study further investigated the reasons for not getting training: results show that most RMG workers are not aware of getting training, few did not get training due to required time commitment for getting training, lack of training centres, and cost related to training. It was also found in the study that only few workers have training centres in the area of their origin, and most of the workers do not have or are not aware of any training centres in their area of origin. Given the benefits of training and demand for skilled RMG workers, this result suggests establishment of training centres near the area of origin of garment workers, and to take necessary steps to ensure that future garment workers become aware of training centres, and get RMG related training.
Result of the study also shows that RMG workers in general have very short tenure in garment industry. Furthermore, female RMG workers have shorter tenure than male RMG workers. This can be due to the fact that some female workers have to leave their job after they get married and to take domestic work responsibilities. It is further revealed in the study that most of the children of the RMG workers are cared for by grandparents or relatives. Only few workers enrol their children at child care centers. This finding is consistent with past studies. For example, most RMG workers in Cambodia prefer factories to give them money to pay for childcare rather than provide a childcare center (ILO, 2006). This finding raises questions about the quality and usefulness of child care centers for garment workers in Bangladesh