At a time when a large number of young people are entering the job market, they have little information about where to go for jobs and what skills the job market demands.
Although hundreeds of technical training institutes are mushrooming and employment opportunities are available in the country, they are yet to build their institutional framework and capability to conduct the training to fulfill the needs of the market. Similarly, there are some channels to provide job information; but they are yet to reach the needy people, including of the rural parts of Nepal.
Although the government has been making efforts to intervene in the process, it is unable to provide the much needed training and information to the youth regarding job availability. The situation in the remote parts of Nepal is much worse than in the capital Kathmandu.
Nepal's three-year Interim Plan 2013-2016 also talks about the need to improve information database and capability of technical training institutes. "The three-year interim plan has provisions to enhance capability of training institutes and disseminate information about the job opportunities available in the country. If organizations like Practical Action Nepal have been working, the NPC welcomes such steps," said Purushotam Ghimire, spokesperson of the National Planning Commission.
As there is a huge demand for information about the availability of jobs and training requirements for youth, Practical Action has tried to provide some solution for such information. For now, it is focusing its programs on the three district of far-western Nepal. With the new approach under the name of Rojgari- raising opportunities for jobs in Gramin Areas for Rural Incomes, Practical Action has been working to improve the quality of local technical training institutes and provide information related to employment.
"Although this is a small project, it helps the rural youths immensely as they aspire for jobs. Practical Action has been implementing Rojgari Project in 16 VDCs of Achham, Doti and Kailali Districts since June 2011. Participatory method was applied to identify and select the 5,000 target rural youths. Representatives of major political parties, VDC secretary, Local Enterprise Network (LEN) members and other stakeholders were consulted during selection of beneficiary youths," said Suman Piya Ph.D, head of program, agriculture, food security and markets of Practical Action.
An assessment of the Technical Vocational Training Centers (TVTs) of the project area was also carried out. A total of six TVTCs, out of interested 16, were selected. A job market study was carried out, which identified a range of jobs and skills in contemporary markets of project areas. The findings of the study were used the TVTCs to design market driven and fee based short term skill development training program
"We are now working to strengthen the quality of technical training and institutional capability of six technical institutes and their up-gradation. We have also supported the information system with Merojob.com to search the job market. There is also mobile solution for the employment as one can get the information about the vacancy of the job through mobile solution 2253. Almost every day 6000-7000 visit www.rojgari.com. This website focuses on Blue color job. Instead of giving the training, we are focusing on training institute, quality training and employment generation. Since this has very small funding, we give funding management part to the private sector. Our experiences have shown that government and non-governmental organization cannot sustain such website for a long period of time. Thus, we invited the private sector," said Piya.
Although this is a small project, it has broader implications and reach. At a time when there is a huge gap in the availability of information regarding jobs and quality of training institutes, the Practical Action Nepal's Rojgari Program is a model that can make a difference in the existing job market information.