Strategies to tackle skills deficits are, by necessity, complex and multifaceted. The G20 Training Strategy for Strong, Sustained and Balanced Growth, which provides a policy framework for developing a skilled workforce for the future, identified a number of key elements for a successful strategy. They included among others: anticipating skills need; the participation of social partners; training quality and relevance; broad access of disadvantaged groups to training; and improving labour market information and employment services.
It was on this last measure that the International Labour Organization, with the support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), has intervened in the labour markets of Nepal since 2014. The project is called Labour Market Information and Employment services (LIfE) and it targets five of the 14 Public Employment Service Centres (ESCs) in the country. Well run Employment Service Centres can help identify job growth potential in their regions, assess skill needs, and provide better information to both young persons and their local training providers. They also assist unemployed youth in making well informed choices about education, training, employment or entrepreneurship opportunities.
Saurav Ram Joshi is the National Project Coordinator of the LIfE project. He says that prior to the ILO’s engagement ESCs were concentrating on just one element of the many roles an effective Centre can achieve: “In the early days the ESCs are simply collecting information from the job seekers, they were not effectively communicating with employer organizations. They were not fulfilling other services for job seekers, such as career counselling as well as services for employers.”
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