The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to provide a grant of $20 million to the government for market-oriented skills training to thousands of aspiring young men and women, who are unemployed or underemployed.
"Nepal critically needs higher and employment-centric economic growth, and the lack of skilled labour is a key constraint," said country director of ADB’s Nepal resident mission Kenichi Yokoyama.
"The project will focus on improving the training for young people in the construction, manufacturing, and services sectors where there are large skill gaps," he added.
The grant, just approved by ADB’s Board of Directors, will help Nepal implement key aspects of its Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Policy, 2012, by improving the quality, relevance, and efficiency of the country’s technical and vocational education and training institutes.
With the grant, the Skills Development Project will provide basic level training and employment services to 45,000 people, at least 40 per cent of whom will be women and 30 per cent from excluded groups.
Private sector training and employment service providers will be engaged through performance-based contracts to deliver the services.
The project will improve the quality and relevance of TVET by transforming 10 public TVET providers into more efficient, market-driven model institutes.
In addition, 25 new fee-paying mid-level programmes will be developed in the priority sectors of construction, manufacturing and services to be delivered in the 10 model institutes, and partnerships with industry will be set up so that institutes can respond to the needs of the market.
Three hundred TVET professionals will also receive training in management, occupational skills, instructional skills and curriculum development. The project will also help the Ministry of Education set up financial mechanisms to fund skills development programmes and help the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training to restructure itself so that it can work better to answer the needs of the growing private sector in the country.
The $25 million, five-year project, is expected to be completed in December 2019. The government will provide $5 million for the project.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members — 48 from the region. In 2012, ADB assistance totalled $21.6 billion, including cofinancing of $8.3 billion.