Nepal's skills for work training must meet the needs of the green economy, be inclusive so that all Nepalis' talent can grow, and involve the employers to meet the labour market demand.

These are the priorities set out at a major conference, 'Celebrating Impact', in recognition of the innovation and best practice delivered by ten pioneering skills projects, held in Kathmandu today. The event showcased skill development partnership models, funded and delivered by the European Union, and British Council delivered Dakchyata project in the tourism, construction, and agriculture sectors.

Launched in March 2020, these projects aimed to encourage closer engagement between public and private sector actors and develop new ways of working for the technical, vocational education and training sector in Nepal.

The projects, known as Practical Partnership Pilot projects, have provided training to 3,734 learners (44 per cent female, 41 per cent aged 15-24 years old), with an estimated 70 per cent of these trainees already employed or having established their own business. The pilot projects have worked with hospitality employers to meet the needs of the tourism sector; enhanced young people's skills in commercial farming; and have produced skilled labourers to meet the needs in the construction sector, said a press release issued by the British Council.

Eloisa Astudillo Fernandez, deputy head of Cooperation European Union, said, "The impact of these pilots will be seen in new and better ways TVET providers work with employers and transformation in the green skills and practices needed for the economy of today and tomorrow. Only in this way will Nepal transition to a resilient economy that protects its natural resources, withstands shocks whilst creating inclusive jobs and wealth in key growth areas."

John Mountford, Dakchyata's team leader, said, "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.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 20, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.