Dormani Poudel, Minister of Province 3 and a special guest from Germany Norbert Barthle, German Vice Minister for Economic Development and Cooperation jointly inaugurated German Technical School- GTS in Dhading.
GTS is a well-equipped technical institution established by Sheshkant Foundation (SheFa) in cooperation with German NGO Zukunft für Nepal Ostwürttemberg e.V. (ZfN) to provide dual technical and vocational education and training in Dhunibesi Municipality, Dhading district. The metal workshop hall of the GTS has been constructed under the financial assistance of the develoPPP.de program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) together with VOITH, the German Technology company based in Heidenheim.
Different companies and individuals from the German region Swabian Alb have supported this project who will ensure input from German Voith hydropower and other German firms. In Nepal, this project would be a pioneer of sort, providing vocational training to youth in order to meet the high demand for professionals in the Nepalese hydropower sector. The school will train mechanics, metal workers and other future craftspeople in close collaboration with the hydropower industry of Nepal following a dual approach inspired by Germany’s vocational education and training system. GTS will provide short term courses (4-12 months) as well as long term courses (3 years diploma courses). Vocational Training has a long tradition in Germany.
Young people are trained for their jobs by providing theoretical lessons as well as “on the job” practice. A student usually is affiliated with a company and is therefore paid a salary while being trained and working in the company at the same time. German investors believe that vocational training with a high degree of in-house training is key to developing partnerships with Nepali industry which can lead to producing export-grade technical products in Nepal.
In his address, Norbert Barthle, Member of the German Parliament and Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development said that large parts of Nepal are regularly affected by power failures – sometimes for up to 14 hours a day. Yet Nepal has enormous environmentally-friendly hydropower potential – about 40 gigawatts. Hydropower is an industry with a great future in your country! Power generation is to be expanded through large stations and through small-scale hydropower.
Statement of Norbert Barthle, Member of the German Parliament and Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
Many domestic and international investors have already stated their interest. However, what is missing is skilled personnel for construction and maintenance.
Currently, such a person has to be imported from abroad at a high cost. And at the same time, youth unemployment here is very high! Every day, hundreds of young people are leaving the country in order to take up mostly low-wage jobs in neighboring and other countries. It is expected that an additional 5 million young people or more will enter Nepal's labor market by 2025.
Valuable resources are being lost. But we can tap these resources if we foster vocational training. We can create skilled, well-paid jobs here in Nepal, too. In that way, young people can build livelihoods for themselves and their families here in their home country. People will get better access to electricity. The government and the private sector will benefit, too, raising money for further investments – among other things, through the future sale of power to neighboring countries like India and Bangladesh. This is good for individuals and good for your entire country.
I am very pleased to be present for the opening of the training workshop. Companies, civil society, citizens, industry federations, government authorities – they all – we all – are part of the establishment of this technical school. The project is based on a public-private partnership. 50 percent of the construction cost has been paid by Voith, and 50 percent by DEG. And there have also been private contributions – from the NGO Zukunft für Nepal Ostwürttemberg, its partner, the Sheshkant Foundation, citizens, and other companies. They are all providing donations, knowledge, land, machinery, workshops – all the way to a hydropower plant simulator. Together, we have achieved a great goal. I would like to thank you all very much for this wonderful initiative. But now it is our job to keep going. Distinguished representatives of the private sector, Our experience with dual – that is, company-based and school-based – vocational training in Germany has been very good. Investing in training is a triple-win scenario: for your country, for the young trainees, and for you, the companies! You should offer people training places in your business. The government has two responsibilities in this context: First, to create investment incentives for companies so that more jobs will be created in Nepal. And second, to invest public money in vocational training, for instance through government support for demand-based training at vocational schools and for companies that are involved in such training.
The German Technical School is a model that can also work in other industries in Nepal. After all, your country currently has a growth rate of more than seven percent. This is a very positive development. It will also boost the private sector. Nepalese companies and foreign investors – such as Voith in hydropower – are already looking for skilled workers, for instance in tourism, IT and food production.
The international community will be happy to support you in the fields of vocational training and economic development. I am thinking, for example, of ADB, the World Bank, the EU, the UK, Switzerland – and also Germany. 3 Now I would like to address the young people here. Make use of this opportunity right here near your homes. Start training at German Technical School. This will give you a real chance of finding a job in your home country.