MANILA, PHILIPPINES (13 December 2022) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million loan to help improve technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Punjab province in Pakistan and ensure skills training meets the demand for jobs in the country’s priority economic sectors.

The Improving Workforce Readiness in Punjab Project will help enhance the quality and relevance of TVET to increase graduates’ employability, upgrade workers’ skills, ensure more equitable access to training for women and disadvantaged groups, and improve management and strategic planning in TVET institutions.

“Punjab makes up over half the national income and is expected to make a significant contribution to Pakistan’s post-flood recovery,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov. “ADB’s project will fund demand-driven and gender-focused training to boost livelihoods and support industries that are key to Pakistan’s recovery and future growth.”

ADB’s project will finance the establishment of 19 TVET centers of excellence in eight priority economic sectors: automobile assembly parts and repairs, construction, food processing, health, information and communication technology, light engineering, textiles and garments, and tourism and hospitality. They will provide programs with linkages to industry and deploy best practices. The project will include the development of skills training programs using technology in response to emerging trends in the fourth industrial revolution.

Given Pakistan’s high vulnerability to climate change, disaster resilience will be incorporated into the design of TVET centers of excellence while training on how to prepare for and respond to disasters will be provided.

“Workers with improved skills in key areas such as construction and agriculture will be essential to implementing stronger safety standards, build back better, and to help the country prepare for future natural hazards,” said ADB Director for Social Sectors Rie Hiraoka. “ADB’s program also seeks to support women and will prioritize disadvantaged groups to improve their chances of finding quality jobs and boosting their incomes.”

The project includes a $2 million technical assistance grant from the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific, which will help to strengthen the TVET institutional framework and strategy in Punjab.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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