Nepal’s skills for work training must meet the needs of the green economy, be inclusive for all Nepalis to grow the country’s talent pool and involve employers to meet labour market demand. These are the priorities being set out at a major conference, ‘Celebrating Impact’, recognising the innovation and best practice delivered by ten pioneering skills projects, held on Tuesday 19 July.
The event showcased skills development partnership models, delivered by the European Union-funded, British Council delivered Dakchyata project in the tourism, construction, and agriculture sectors. Launched in March 2020, they aimed to encourage closer engagement between public and private sector actors and develop new ways of working for the technical, vocational education and training (TVET) sector in Nepal.
The projects, known as Practical Partnership Pilot projects, have provided training for 3,734 learners (44% female, 41% aged 15-24 years old), with an estimated 70% of these trainees already employed or have established their own business. The pilots have worked with hospitality employers to meet the needs of the tourism sector; enhanced young people’s skills in commercial farming; and produced skilled labourers to meet needs in the construction sector.
Common to all pilots, and the reason for their dramatic success, has been:
- Prioritising the voice and needs of the private sector to develop job-ready trainees
- Increasing accessibility for groups traditionally underserved by TVET, such as women and marginalised caste and ethnic groups to boost incomes and grow the talent pool for employers
- Improving capacity for sustainable TVET provision through greener, climate-resilient, low-emission practices will provide the skills for the emerging green economy.
At the celebration, Ms Eloisa Astudillo Fernandez, Deputy Head of Cooperation European Union’s, said “The impact of these pilots will be seen in new and better ways TVET providers work with employers and a transformation in the green skills and practices need for the economy of today and tomorrow. Only in this way will Nepal transition to a resilient economy that protects its natural resources, and withstands shocks whilst creating inclusive jobs and wealth in key growth areas.”
John Mountford, Dakchyata’s Team Leader, added “It is well established that effective TVET is defined by close links to employers and an understanding of demanded skills. Through our pioneering pilots, we developed and tested models to further bridge the gap between supply and demand by bringing employers into the conversation. We have created models that other skills providers can replicate, such as opportunities for on-the-job experience for trainees. In this way, we are showing how to future proof TVET, so it is effective in creating the right skills for Nepal’s growth and development.”
The first half of the event highlighted major learnings and impacts across four themes: collaboration, green implementation, inclusion and TVET models through selected grantee presentations while in the second half all practical partnership projects shared their experience at a “marketplace”.