“Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali” is the long-term goal proclaimed by the Government of Nepal in 2018. Fulfilling this goal will require the Nepali youths to be engaged in various economic activities. Unfortunately, government data show that only 63% out of 1,636,598 who passed the Secondary Education Examinationa (SEE) continued towards higher level education whereas, the rest 37% dropped out leaving them with limited scope for economic activities and income generation. In addition, there are many youths who do not have access to funds and cannot invest themselves in education and training, namely those who are marginalised and/or economically weak (henceforth called Disadvantaged Groups - DAGs). These groups are formally the main target/beneficiaries of the project.
Nepal needs sustained investments in skills and entrepreneurship development of Nepali youths for not just its local labour market but also in the international market. About 1’200 young people leave daily for jobs in the Gulf countries, Malaysia or elsewhere because of lack of jobs in Nepal and in hope for better income. Overall it is estimated that 1/4th of the working population is abroad. The country’s economy is highly dependent on the remittances sent back home from foreign countries. Although the private sector in Nepal is increasingly becoming aware of the value of skilled workers, it is still reluctant to invest sufficiently in the skills of the workforce. However, the out-migration experience has shown that the youths themselves take training and are likely to invest in it when jobs are guaranteed.
Swisscontact’s project seeks to improve opportunities for disadvantaged youths regarding higher wages or self-employment in Nepal but is aware that some nevertheless will migrate abroad. It does this by providing youths access to basic skills and skills enhancement training; skills testing and certification; and promotion of self-employment including access to finance. In addition, it also ensures that youth benefit from soft-skills training; counselling before; during and after training; and help in finding gainful wage or self-employment. Swisscontact’s project does not provide the services to the youth itself but builds the capacity of NGOs and private enterprises enabling them to provide these services.
The need for financial support for training of youth from the DAG is an ongoing reality and will not change in the near and medium future. Accordingly, there are several development projects offering various subsidies for skills training, of which some are heavily subsidized distorting the training market. Nevertheless, Swisscontact has adopted the policy to subsidise training minimally and even request some nominal contribution against the training fee to foster more ownership from the trainees. In return it obliges the training providers to ensure job-placement which will make attending training very attractive for aspiring youth. Training providers under the project are paid against their success of placing graduates in jobs and against the level of income of their graduates.
Swisscontact aims to improve the livelihood of 2,310 youths from the 6 districts of Sarlahi, Mahottari, Sindhuli, Morang, Sunsari and Dhakuta in the Eastern Terai region.
It does this through activities in the 3 Intervention Areas below with the following targets:
Entrepreneurship promotion training
400 youth, especially from the DAGs and migrant returnees will be trained on basic entrepreneurship concepts, principles and tools and on access to finance. The training will result in creation of 240 new self-employed people/ micro entrepreneurs (60% of the targeted youths) with increased income by 50% but with minimum gainful self-employment (income of minimum NPR 7’500/ month or USD 75).
Skills development of unemployed and unskilled youths
2,500 unemployed youth, especially from the DAGs, will benefitting from practical, market-oriented, basic skill training to seize job opportunities in sectors such as tourism, construction, mechanics and garments. This will lead to 1’750 employed youths (70% of the target youth) with minimum gainful wage- or self-employment.
Skills enhancement training of low-skilled workers
400 workers, especially from the DAGs, with low skills will benefit from enhanced skills training increasing their chances for better jobs, expanding or starting their own enterprise. This will result in 320 workers (80% of the target workers) with increased income by 50% but with minimum gainful wage - or self-employment.
Overall the project has also the target of 1/3rd of the benefices being female and 40% being from the DAGs.
Results 2017 - 2018
Symphasis Foundation, Fondation Tibetania
2017 - 2020