ADB, Japan Support Technical and Vocational Education in Tajikistan

DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN – Preparatory work has begun for a project that aims to improve the efficiency and quality of technical and vocational education and training in Tajikistan, leading to increased skilled workers with better paid jobs.

A $700,000 grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), financed by the Government of Japan and administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), will prepare a detailed design of the proposed Strengthening Private Sector Participation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Project.

“About two-thirds of the labor force in Tajikistan is currently low skilled, which limits their opportunities for better employment and higher earnings, and ultimately reduces national productivity and competitiveness and increases the costs of doing business,” said Asad Sumbal, Senior Economist at ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. “We expect that the proposed project will narrow the gaps, and help ensure an adequate supply of trained workers to meet the requirements of labor markets.”

The project is expected to modernize and improve the methodology, infrastructure, and teaching quality of the TVET system. It will also establish a Skills Training Fund to increase access of training to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, including women. Staff from the Embassy of Japan in Dushanbe and Japan Center for Human Development in the Kyrgyz Republic provided key inputs to design the project.

ADB is considering a $20 million grant for the project, which is scheduled for consideration by ADB’s Board of Directors in late 2014.

Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998 and, to date, the institution has approved total assistance of over $1.2 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. The 15 years of ADB-Tajikistan partnership has promoted social development, restored and built new infrastructure, expanded agricultural production, and encouraged regional cooperation and trade within the framework of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program.