Dual vocational training programmes offer plenty of opportunity for on-the-job training and work experience. Programmes usually last between two and three and a half years and comprise theoretical as well as practical elements
Nepal’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture, which accounts for around 35 per cent of the GDP. However, the decade-long civil war (1996-2006) hugely affected the economic structure. The outdated education system is doing no good to improve the economy.
Thus, in recent times, the economy is slowly drifting towards foreign employment and is heavily dependent on the remittances from migrants working abroad. Also, the devastating earthquake in 2015 almost destroyed certain economic structures in Nepal.
Meanwhile, a new government has been elected with a two-third majority in Parliament, which promises political stability and seeks to achieve the much needed economic growth. However, what the country lacks at present is trained specialists and skilled workers due to which sustainable implementation of new projects could be very difficult.
Thousands of Nepalis leave the country every year for foreign countries, especially the Gulf nations and Malaysia, in search of jobs. Majority of them are unskilled people.
So, it is important to provide young people with better job prospects at home. Vocational education hence can be very crucial. The need of the hour is not only building the economy of Nepal, but building it sustainably.
Vocational training provides young people with real qualification and opportunity to earn money. Skill training is one of the most important aspects when it comes to inducting youth force into the labour market. Nepal can learn lessons from Germany in this regard.
According to the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK), in Germany over 60 per cent of young people are qualified according to the principle of dual vocational training.
Dual vocational training programme programmes offer plenty of opportunity for on-the-job training and work experience. Programmes usually last between two and three and a half years and comprise theoretical as well as practical elements.
In Nepal, a similar system is being set up with Nepali companies to show young people perspectives on skilled trainings and train professionals to contribute to sustainable economic development.
The CTEVT (Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training), was established in Nepal for this purpose. It is a relevant government council for dual vocational training concept which is committed to working closely with domestic and foreign companies to achieve the international standard of education.
The model of dual training as in Germany should take a total of three years and combine theory and practical aspects. With the support of the foreign industry, quality education of international standard can be achieved.
For example, youths can receive Nepali CTEVT Diploma and a German training certificate from the IHK upon successful completion of the training.
At the end of 2016, in association with “Zukunftfür Nepal Ostwürttemberge. V.”, Nepal’s Sheshkant Foundation (Shefa) initiated construction of a training centre for metal and wood works and textiles in Dhunibesi, Dhading.
The construction of the metal and carpentry workshop halls have already begun. After the installation of machines, with the help of apprentices from Voith GmbH & Co gaA, Heidenheim, the workshop is due to start operation in early 2019. In the long term, 220 youths a year will receive dual training in Nepal in the field of metal, electrical engineering (3 years), welding, wood, textile and hydropower maintenance (4 -6 months).
In cooperation with the German company Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & Co KG, DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH and the develoPPP.de programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany will start recognised and accredited dual vocational training in the metal industry.
In the three-year training, mechanics will be trained because they are urgently needed for the hydropower companies and other companies. In the long term, the company envisions training specialists for the operation and maintenance of hydropower plants. The association is already negotiating
with other companies in the electronic, electrical, wood and textile sectors to offer vocational training for various skills as soon as possible.
For hydropower specific courses, the foundation has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Independent Power Producer Association of Nepal (IPPAN) and Voith Hydro, a global renowned hydropower equipment manufacturer.
Besides bringing the foreign experts’ knowledge to Nepal, it also aims to bring the knowledge and expertise of the Nepali diaspora spread through the globe to Nepali youths in Nepal. For this, Shefa has already singed a partnership agreement with Non-Resident Nepalese Association.
The know-how and resources of foreign companies can benefit economically and technically weaker countries such as Nepal. But local and foreign companies can also produce skilled workers and achieve easier market access for the competitive advantage right from the start.
Dhakal is global marketing & sales manager at Voith Hydro Holding GmbH and Co KG, Germany
A version of this article appears in print on July 03, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.