New project supports modernization of vocational training
WASHINGTON, March 29, 2011 – The World Bank’s Board of Directors has approved the new US$30 million Rwanda Skills Development Project, which will support the country-led effort to build a more skilled workforce that can meet the needs of Rwanda’s steadily expanding economy.
Manufacturing and services have already become very significant in Rwanda, with services expected to have generated about 60 percent of national GDP in 2010, up from 37 percent in 2001. The demand for skilled workers is expected to rise as the economy becomes more oriented towards exports and services.
“We are delighted to support Rwanda’s effort to invest in people—especially youth—by helping them acquire skills that will find use in a modern economy,” said Omowunmi Ladipo, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda. “This is essential for sustained economic growth and competitiveness, particularly as Rwanda strives to realize its vision of becoming a middle-income economy by 2020.”
The Rwanda Skills Development Project will help citizens to develop skills that are in urgent demand, particularly in the hospitality, tourism, and construction sectors. It will help to modernize Rwanda’s vocational training provision and link it better and more efficiently with the needs of the job market.
A key feature of Rwanda’s approach to technical and vocational education and training that is supported by the project is greater involvement of private sector representatives in areas such as curriculum development, placing of interns and assessment mechanisms.
The project will also introduce a pilot Skills Development Facility that provides financing for the rapid delivery of high-priority skills through competitive sub-grants ranging from US$10,000 to $100,000 to both public and private training providers.
“A more skilled workforce is fundamental to enabling Rwanda to develop into the export- and service-oriented economy that it aspires to become.” said Margo Hoftijzer, Senior Economist with the World Bank. “The involvement of the private sector in shaping, providing and monitoring the results of training provision is essential to ensure that graduates do not just go to school, but are actually equipped with those skills that are most valued in the labor market.”
Employer satisfaction with the skills of the newly trained graduates will be an important indicator of the project’s performance. In addition, skills studies will be conducted periodically to allow the government and training providers to better adjust their activities to labor demand.