Multilateral lending agency ADB has approved a loan of USD 80 million (about Rs 524 crore) for modernisation of Himachal Pradesh’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions. The total cost of the project is USD 100 million, with the Centre contributing USD 20 million. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) board of directors approved the loan to modernise TVET institutions and programmes to enhance job prospects of the state’s youth, the Manila-headquartered agency said in a statement. ADB said the Himachal Pradesh has been growing steadily, with major development indicators improving significantly since 2000.
“But, there remain significant challenges particularly on youth employment,” said Shamit Chakravarti, an ADB Senior Social Sector Specialist. He said that to further boost its economy and productivity, young people in the state must have the specific skills and training needed for the current labour market. As per the release, over the last two decades, overall literacy and enrolment rates for higher education in the state have increased significantly, “yet employability of high school and college graduates remains low because of the lack of alignment to the needs of the labour market”.
Estimated net demand for skilled workers in the state is expected to reach 5,15,557 between 2017 and 2022. “Specifically, the project will align Himachal Pradesh’s TVET programmes to national skills certification standards, thereby, improving the employability and employment prospects of nearly 65,000 youth from 2017 to 2022,” it said. The project will establish a polytechnic for women, six city livelihood centers, and seven rural livelihood centers, upgrade 11 employment and exchanges into model career centers to build TVET awareness among youth.
Modernisation of training equipment, forging partnerships with the private sector, and expand market-relevant training and livelihood development opportunities will also be taken up as part of the project. “Gender-sensitive counselling and outreach material will be prepared, and efforts will be made to raise female work participation rates,” ADB said, adding “The project is categorised as gender equity theme”.