Washington DC, April 30, 2015 ─ The World Bank today approved US$50 million to improve skills training programs in priority growth sectors in Punjab. The project aims to improve the quality, labor market relevance and access to the training programs with a focus on the employability of graduate trainees.
Punjab Skills Development Project will benefit individuals in the labor force who wish to gain job specific skills and training in order to join the labor market, as well as those who wish to increase their earnings capacity through in-service training. An estimated 70,000 trainees will directly benefit from the Project, of which at least 15% will be female.
“The main challenges in the skills development sector of Punjab include limited supply of skilled workers, weak institutional framework, and low access to quality and relevant skills training”, says Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “The Project aims to strengthen public institutions in Punjab to accredit, certify and deliver skills training services, which will help the youth to get better jobs.”
Punjab Skills Development Project supports the Government of Punjab’s Growth and Skills Development Strategies and Vision 2018 objectives and has been designed in close consultation with development partners already working on skills training at both national and provincial level. The Project also has a technical assistance and capacity building component for implementation support.
“The Project would help raise the quality of skilled graduates through the introduction of competency-based training and assessment, improved collaboration between employers and training providers to increase the industrial relevance of training content”, says Scherezad J. Monami Latif, Task Team Leader of the Project. “The project will improve the quality and relevance of training through improved collaboration between the private sector and training providers. Interventions would focus on, but not be limited to, developing partnerships with small and medium enterprises in priority economic sectors”.
The credit is financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s grant and low-interest arm. It will be on standard IDA terms, with a maturity of 25 years, including a grace period of 5 years.