A graduate repairing a TV in her electronics shop.
Photo: HELVETAS/Silvia Voser


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Training for young people doesn’t make sense in itself if it is not related to employment. But how to ensure that the “right” skills are provided and in a quality that matches with the needs of the labour market? And that the graduates do not end up well-trained and yet jobless? The Employment Fund Nepal managed to bring nine out of ten trained disadvantaged youths into employment, 90,000 in all. The recipe for success was a resultsbased financing model for training providers.

About half a million young people enter the Nepalese labour market each year. Poor formal education, limited technical skills and family responsibilities as well as a poorly developed private sector make attaining gainful employment a challenge for these young people. This is why the Employment Fund was established in 2007 – targeted at disadvantaged, unemployed out-of-school youth, mainly in rural and semi-urban regions. It was financed by UK Aid, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the World Bank, with an overall budget of about 36 million US dollars (USD). Helvetas operated the secretariat of the fund. The project ran until 2016. The Employment Fund financed skills training and employment services through around 60 contracted training providers, mainly private firms. It covered 87 per cent of all districts in Nepal and approximately 80 occupations in different sectors (e.g. construction, hospitality, garments and textile, agriculture, electronics, mechanics, etc.). The training courses usually lasted three to four months.

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