The RMG sector is the highest earning industry in Bangladesh, contributing 18% of GDP and 76% of export earnings. More than 5,500 RMG factories currently employ 4.4 million people, of whom 70% are women.

Sudokkho’s labour market assessment identified large skills shortages in the RMG industry. It also projected that semi-skilled and skilled occupations will account for 25% and 65% respectively of new positions created in the industry over the next five years, driven by the increasing use of technology.

The assessment presented a strong case for skills training that supports unskilled workers to enter semi-skilled occupations It also demonstrates the value of providing pathway opportunities to skilled occupations in which the greatest labour shortages (65%) are anticipated in the coming five years.

The eight occupations in the table below are most in demand from employers, with the position of Sewing Machine Operator offering the greatest absorption capacity. 

Occupations with highest demand in the RMG sector (Labour Market Assessment)

Occupations 5-year Labour Demand
Semi-skilled Skilled
Sewing machine operator 132,500 231,000
Overlock machine operator 15,900 53,600
Quality inspector 5,800 54,300
Sweater knitting machine operator 3,400 28,400
Fusing machine operator 3,000 13,700
Cutter 2,600 22,500
Linking machine operator 2,200 10,200
Machine mechanic 1,000 5,500