KATHMANDU: After a successful inception period which helped scope opportunities for partnerships with the private sector and better understand the challenges related to skill building, employment generation, and business productivity growth, UKaid’s SEP is now open for business.
A high-level launch event was held in Kathmandu today bringing together some of the key market actors from the tourism, ICT, manufacturing, hydropower/construction, and commercial agriculture sectors in Nepal.
On the occasion, details of the innovative market-aligned Challenge Fund were shared and the private sector’s ideas were invited via a competitive and efficient process to expand and strengthen collective efforts on skill-building with the goal of generating employment and incomes for Nepalis, and business expansion for the private sector.
This UKaid-funded four-year Skills for Employment programme will support the generation of new employment by working with government, employers in the private sector, training and education institutions, and youth to carry out innovative employment interventions, including skills training and job placement which provides higher wages for the individuals and increases the productivity of firms in growth sectors, the UKaid SEP stated in a press release.
UKaid SEP focuses on ICT, tourism, commercial agriculture, construction (hydropower), light manufacturing sectors through market-led interventions that enable job creation, increasein incomes and migration optimization. The programme is harnessing the benefits of migration for Nepal’s workforce and economic development by demonstrating several cost-effective models to increase migrants’ skills; lower financing and other costs of traveling abroad; and increase savings and investment of remittances.
As a result, the project will harness and assist over 90,000 Nepalis to reach their potential with skilling aimed at work-readiness, upskilling, and professional advancement, while enabling businesses to increase and improve productivity. The 90,000 Nepalis are expected to benefit from an increase in income of at least 20 per cent attributed to the project. Of the total cohort, 40 per cent will be women and 40 per cent from the disadvantaged groups including persons with disabilities.
The programme draws on national and international resources and expertise toprovide co-investment and technical advisory support to the Nepali private and public sector. Using a Challenge Fund mechanism, UKaid Sep will partner with the private and public sector to generate and scale-up innovative training models in the above-mentioned sectors to address key gaps and market failures by leveraging private sector resources and catalyzing increased investments and system-wide collaborations to augment individual as well as collective skilling models. The programme also provides a unique opportunity for international providers to work with Nepali partners by proposing sustainable co-investment models that ensure quality training and placement for Nepalis in the domestic and foreign labour markets.
The programme is strongly aligned with the Government of Nepal’s policy to create domestic employment. Unveiled recently as part of a joint collaborative effort between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, UKaid SEP builds on DFID’s commitment to Nepal’s political and economic transformation, including support for federalism, transformational growth and constitutional rights with the power to leave no one behind.
As UKaid’s implementing partner, Louis Berger is ensuring close coordination with relevant government entities at the federal; provincial and local level, the private sector, donor agencies and other stakeholders involved in skills development and migration optimization. Louis Berger’s partners on SEP include British Council, the International Organization for Migration, Frost&Sullivan, Institute for Integrated Development Studies, and Clear Horizon.
Speaking at the UK aid Skills for Employment Challenge Fund launch programme here today, Head of DFID Nepal Dr Rurik Marsden shed light on DFID Nepal’s partnership with the government on economic transformation and SEP’s overall objectives, Secretary for Economic Development and Infrastructure at the Office of the Prime Minister, Shishir Kumar Dhungana gave the keynote address while Prasanna KC, Deputy team leader of UKaid SEP and Hari Pandey, UKaid SEP’s Challenge Fund Manager highlighted on the overview of the SEP Challenge Fund.
UKaid SEP’s team leader Baljit Vohra spoke on UKaid SEP and its proposed approaches to transforming the skills development and migration management agenda.
Vice president of Confederation of Nepalese Industries and director of Vishal Group, Anuj Agrawal; director of Nepal darsha Nirman Company, Birendra Pandey; Chaitanya Kgalkar, Country Head-Nepal, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.; managing director of Prabhu Management, Kusum Lama; director of Shreenagar Agro Group, Moushumi Shrestha; regional representative- Asia, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Revathy Rugmini; and Subash Manandhar, Senior Director of Al Services- Fusemachines participated in the panel discussion on the theme of ‘Changing the Paradigm for Skilling in Partnership with the Private Sector in Nepal/Responses on the UKaid SEP’s Challenge Fund Value Proposition’.
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