NEW DELHI, INDIA (28 March 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a $80 million loan to help modernize technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and improve the skills ecosystem in the state of Himachal Pradesh to boost employability of the state’s youth.

Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, signed the loan agreement for the Government of India, and Kenichi Yokoyama, ADB Country Director in India, signed on behalf of ADB.

“The project will support the government of Himachal’s skills policy to guide the reform and scale-up skills development efforts in the state,” said Mr. Khare. “It will fund short-term and long-term training programs in growth areas including cars, electronics, pharmaceutical, tourism and hospitality, banking and financial services, health care, etc., to help state youth enhance their skills set and get better paying jobs.”

The state will need more than 500,000 skilled workers by 2022 across various trades. The Himachal Pradesh Skills Development Project will help seize this opportunity by providing support in developing relevant and good quality TVET programs, thereby improving job prospects of nearly 65,000 youths from 2017 to 2022.

“After achieving impressive enrollment rates for higher education, the state of Himachal Pradesh faces "second-generation" challenge of preparing its youth for the challenging labor market,” said Mr. Yokoyama. “The project will help in equipping the youth with market-relevant technical and vocational skills."

The project will establish a polytechnic for women, 6 city livelihood centers and 7 rural livelihood centers, and upgrade 11 employment exchanges into model career centers. These efforts will result in improved TVET awareness among youth, modernizing training equipment, implementing a training information system, forging partnerships with private sector, and creating better access to quality market-relevant TVET and livelihood development opportunities for youth in Himachal Pradesh.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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