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LESSONS:

Skills for Employment Project

sector: Education | country: Nepal

1. Delivery of skills training through the private sector is a viable approach to skills development in Nepal. The success of public-private partnerships will depend on appropriate implementation design, including a competitive bidding process to select the most experienced and qualified training institutions; mandatory skills testing and job placement requirements to ensure minimum quality of training; performance-based contracts to motivate the training providers to place trainees in jobs; capacity building of the technical training providers to carry out pre-training, training, and post-training activities; and close follow-up monitoring of the training providers.

2. Affirmative action policies could expand opportunities for skills development to members of marginalized groups. Without explicit targets for the disadvantaged groups, not as many trainees from the groups would have benefitted from skills training. However, the targets should not be uniform across all training areas but should vary according to type of trade, location of training, and density of marginalized groups in the area.

3. Project implementation arrangements should be carefully assessed and necessary provisions made for effective project management. There should be strong ownership of and commitment to the project by all parties responsible for project implementation.

4. In order to avoid major initial delays in project implementation, procurement planning must be effective, and packaging of contracts needs to be carefully thought out. Project implementation should also have a provision for supporting government officials with management consultants. Advanced actions including retroactive financing provisions should be investigated during the project design and used in establishing the project office, training packages and management support consultant.

Lessons from Validation

Nepal: Skills for Employment Project

The project completion report (PCR) identified several general and specific lessons, which this validation supports. The public-private partnership arrangement for technical training providers (TTPs) should be encouraged. Less experienced TTPs should be mentored and supported to expand the TTP pool for new and relevant programs. The government should insist on affirmative action with explicit targets in every training cohort to ensure equal opportunities for all disadvantaged groups in accessing skills training.

Curriculum development for technical education and vocational training (TEVT) is critical to develop new areas for skills training so that Nepal can respond to changing needs of local or overseas employers. Curriculum and syllabus development should be ongoing capacity-building activities in both the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) and selected TTPs.

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