Project aims to recognise skilled Nepali workforce

KATHMANDU: Graduates of vocational training programmes and workforce with skills and competencies in Nepal have now brighter days ahead to get their qualifications and skills recognised within and out of the country. Their dreams will come true within the next few years, if the plan is anything to go by.

The National Vocational Qualification System (NVQS), established to enhance skills of Nepalis for prosperous Nepal, was launched amid a programme in Kathmandu on Thursday.

The Government of Nepal and the Government of Switzerland had signed an agreement on July 22 this year to establish the NVQS.

A long-term commitment of both the governments would be materialised through the NVQS project under the Ministry of Education (MoE), to be implemented by Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT)/ National Skills Testing Board (NSTB), according to the agreement.

The technical assistance for the project is provided by Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation (Swisscontact).

The project will enable the NSTB to improve its skills testing services, to develop vocational qualification frameworks for selected trades and occupations and to gradually transform the NSTB into a fully developed mechanism with adequate technical and physical capacities as the apex autonomous national organisation such as National Vocational Qualifications Authority (NVQA).

Speaking at the programme, Education Secretary Bishwo Prakash Pandit said that country needs economic growth.

"We have immense natural resources and appropriate skills can help us utilise these resources fully. So the project is our priority as it will help us increase our national output, develop entrepreneurship as well as bring prosperity in the family, society and nation," Pandit said.

He further said that NVQS project would help improve the nation's indigenous technologies and bring modern technologies from abroad.

Diepak Elmer, Deputy Head of Mission of the Swiss Embassy in Nepal, said the project would be a key contributor to systemic changes in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system to enable women and men including disadvantaged groups to get access to increased employment and self-employment and to perform at higher productivity levels.

He added, "This in turn shall lead to higher income, enhanced livelihood and resilience and thus combat poverty and promote inclusive growth."

In Nepal, around 500,000 youth enter the labour market yearly. Most entrants have low or very few skills and thus remain unemployed or underemployed

According to Devi Prasad Dahal, the NVQS team leader, the project would provide technical assistance to the key stakeholders during three phases over 10 years.

The budget of the project is Rs 4 billion.