UK’s Challenge Fund seeks to create job opportunities

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 18, 2019-

The UK’s Skills for Employment Programme on Wednesday launched its Challenge Fund, inviting the private sector to present their ideas on skill building with the goal of creating jobs opportunities for women and disadvantage groups and encouraging migrant workers to utilise their experience in the country.

The $11.92 million (£9.14 million) Challenge Fund targets creating employment outcomes for 90,000 people, particularly women and disadvantage groups including persons with disabilities within a four-year period. The fund will be provided to companies having innovative ideas on generating more employment opportunities focusing women, differently abled and marginalised people.

The programme will co-invest in innovation skills training and migrant projects by partnering with companies selected from the challenge fund.

Rurik Marsden, head of Department for International Development Nepal, said underinvestment for staff training has been hampering the ecosystem of Nepali labour market as the chances of people leaving abroad for jobs is high. It has caused an outflow of manpower in the country thus lessening the productivity in many sectors. The UKaid’s Challenge Fund aims to invite the private sector for ideas on skill building to train people to create value added jobs in the domestic market, he said.

“Many companies are seen providing less training to employees due to retention problem which is automatically affecting the productivity.”

He said that unlocking human potential is important in boosting productivity by creating job opportunities to reduce poverty and achieve economic prosperity.

Shishir Kumar Dhungana, secretary at the Office of Prime Minister, said that the government needs strong collaboration with the private sector to create jobs for the country’s development. The fund will be vital for job retention in the country for migrant workers, improve access to information and affordable training opportunity for women, differently-able and marginalised people, according to the UKaid.

The fund will respond to proposals and operate nationwide with special priority in province 2 and 5, it said. The programme will support in generating new employment by working with the government, employers in private sector, training and education institutions and youths to carry out innovative employment interventions including skilled training and job placement which provides higher wages for individuals and increases the productivity of firms in growth sectors.

The programme focuses on information communication technology, commercial agriculture, construction (hydropower) and light manufacturing sectors through market-led intervention that enable job creation, increases in income and migration optimisation, it said.

Published: 18-04-2019 11:16

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