MANILA, PHILIPPINES (30 August 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $30 million loan to improve Bhutan’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system and enhance the skills and employability of its youth.

“Against the rising youth unemployment in Bhutan, ADB is ramping up support for the country’s TVET reform strategic plan implementation for transforming product, place, people and process,” said ADB Social Sector Economist Ryotaro Hayashi. “This project will improve access to and expand the coverage of TVET courses in partnership with various stakeholders to boost workers' skills, especially women and youth with disability, to support the country’s sustainable development.”

The project will help construct new buildings, workshops, hostels, and upgrade facilities in technical training institutes in Chumey, Samthang, Rangjung, and the rural development training center in Zhemgang. It will provide digital and physical training opportunities for students, teachers, people with disability, and job seekers from TVET and Special Education Needs (SEN) schools. It will support children with disability, including out-of-school children, get into TVET through home instructions.

Skills training programs for emerging occupations such as new construction technology, hydropower mechanics, network security, food processing, floriculture, and seed technology will be developed and upgraded to global standards. TVET institutions will be given laboratory equipment and furnished for developing and offering courses in emerging fields and industries. On the other hand, SEN schools will be provided with special equipment and computers with text-to-speech and speech recognition functions to improve the quality of education and skills development for children with disability.

The project will strengthen partnerships with industry leaders, private sector, civil society organizations and development partners like Humber College from Canada to provide internship opportunities, training programs, counseling, mentoring, career development and guidance, and job placements, especially for women and youth with disability. National and international partnerships will also be established for SEN schools, TVET institutions, and technical training institutes to build institutional capacity.

An additional $2 million grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific will support project implementation to improve the quality, access, and capacity to deliver disability-inclusive education and skills development.

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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