Sri Lanka: Skills Sector Enhancement Program

Sovereign Project | 42251-018 Status: Active


ADB is helping Sri Lanka revamp its technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to equip its workforce, especially the youth, with the required skills for the job market. The program will support the government’s Skills Sector Development Program and improve employment rates in four priority sectors: construction, tourism, information technology, and manufacturing, particularly for disadvantaged groups, including women.

Latest Project Documents

Consulting Notices See also: CMS

No notices are currently available for this project.

Procurement Notices See also: Operational Procurement

No notices are currently available for this project.

Procurement Documents

None currently available.

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Project Name Skills Sector Enhancement Program
Project Number 42251-018
Country Sri Lanka
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant: Skills Sector Enhancement Program
Germany US$ 15.40 million
Loan 3119-SRI: Skills Sector Enhancement Program
Ordinary capital resources US$ 50.00 million
Loan 3120-SRI: Skills Sector Enhancement Program
Asian Development Fund US$ 50.00 million
Loan: Skills Sector Enhancement Program
World Bank US$ 100.00 million
Export-Import Bank of Korea US$ 26.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Education - Technical and vocational education and training

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description ADB and the Government of Sri Lanka are working together to provide people in the country with the skills they need to get good jobs. The Skills Sector Enhancement Program is improving the teacher training and the government's overall quality assurance efforts in regards to technical training. It is also helping the Sri Lankan government analyze where the gaps are greatest in the labor market's demand for skills. This is allowing technical training to be focused on the areas where there is the most demand. The program is also working to increase the number of students enrolled in technical programs to 172,000 and is providing financial help to at least 18,000 students from disadvantaged situations. The program is working to improve coordination, monitor and evaluation of skills development efforts and strengthen performance management of publicly financed training initiatives.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy Sri Lanka's progress in education is excellent compared with that of other countries in South Asia. However, a significant mismatch exists between the skills of graduates and what is needed by employers. Sri Lankan firms have identified lack of skilled labor as one of the key constraints to their business and youth unemployment remains very high at 17.3% - compared to an overall unemployment rate of 4%. The skills mismatch became even more evident during the recent period of high economic growth as both education and technical training systems failed to adapt to the rapid labor market shifts resulting from the rise of the service sector. Sri Lanka is working to reconfigure the skills, abilities, and competencies of young people to meet the demands of the global economy and to support the country's transition to a knowledge-based economy.
Impact Increased employability of the Sri Lankan workforce, particularly youth

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome A market-responsive and inclusive TVET system
Progress Toward Outcome Preliminary skill gap analysis for 3 sectors were reviewed by the respective ISCs (construction, IT, and manufacturing).
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Improved quality of TVET provision

2. Enhanced industry partnership for TVET planning and provision

3. Increased participation and improved equity in TVET

4. Improved TVET sector management to implement policy, institutional, and operational reforms

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Construction sector ISC formally established and operational since January 2016. Tripartite agreements with TVEC, NAITA and ICT-ISC and MES-ISC were signed for providing funds for meeting the operational cost of ISSCs. Tourism-ISC was incorporated on 25 May 2016. A workshop was conducted on 7 July 2016 for preparing the Business Plan.

The contract agreement between MSDVT and Advance Construction Training Academy (ACTA) was signed on 18 December 2015 to train 600 students in the field of construction as the first phase. Facing challenges in recruiting students, ACTA is currently training 87 students. Tourism training for 500 students was re-bid and 4 proposals were received. Contracts were issued in August 2016. RFPs issued for training of 400 students in manufacturing and another 600 students for construction.

A simplified QMS manual (ISO-based) was developed in October 2014. As of 30 June 2016, 80 training centers of the total 202 or 15% of TVET providers have been approved by the TVEC as recognized centers practicing revised QMS (67 were certified in 2015 and another 13 centers were certified in 2016).

Revised NVQ operations manual is prepared, which needs validation through stakeholder consultation. Based on the draft report submitted by SSDD, Chairman/TVEC has appointed sub-committees to revisit the chapters in the NVQ operational manual and the amended NVQ operational manual was published on the website of TVEC.

In 2014 and 2015, NAITA issued certificates to 12,869 people through RPL. Out of 2016 target of 5,000 persons, 3,522 persons underwent for final assessment.

Ministry prepared a budget allocation for utilizing Rs556 million for introducing a voucher system for the benefit of the talented students of low-income families to follow vocational training as follows: DTET - RS 20 million, VTA-Rs 229 million, NAITA-Rs 300 million, UNIVOTEC - Rs 7 million.

In 2016, 42 centers are implementing business plans (including 21 VTA centers).

Surveys of public and private sector training providers were completed in 2015.

Geographical Location

Safeguard Categories

Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects The program is classified as environment category B according to ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009). Construction activities will be limited to refurbishment, extension, renovation of existing structures and new buildings within the existing TVET center premises or government owned land. No significant environmental impacts are envisaged from the proposed works. Any work inviting higher category of environment classification (category A) shall not be included in the project.
Involuntary Resettlement The program is classified as category C for involuntary resettlement according to ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009). The safeguard requirements 2 will not apply as there will be no land acquisition and involuntary resettlement. Mostly minor civil works will be carried out for refurbishment of existing buildings and facilities. New buildings will be constructed either within the existing TVET institute premises or on government owned land.
Indigenous Peoples The project is classified category C for indigenous peoples according to ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009). Implementation of program components neither directly nor indirectly affects the dignity, human rights, livelihood systems, or culture of indigenous people. Hence, the safeguard requirements 3 will not trigger.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design

Throughout the design phase there were regular meetings with stakeholders to assess sectoral issues and discuss the program design. Key issues discussed were quality, relevance, staff training, working with industry, and increasing participation rates. There were regular briefings with the heads of the MYASD TVET agencies, agencies higher level officials and with representatives of development partners. Special meetings were held to present the findings and recommendations of the design team to relevant officials and management in MYASD TVET agencies for their feedback. Organizations consulted include Foreign Employment Bureau, ministries of education, higher education, and others, Senior Ministers Secretariat, the Board of Investment, the Information and Communication Technology Agency, Tourism Development Authority, Institute of Construction Training and Development, and Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, development partners, and industry representatives such as the Employers Federation, National Construction Association, Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Chambers of Small and Medium Enterprises, Chamber of Construction Industries, Association of Software and Service Companies, and Hotels Association.

About 15 private and public training institutes were visited to review the status of training delivery, QA measures and the operation of career guidance and counseling units and to assess the existing institutional arrangements and capacity, including accessibility for under-represented groups. Around 125 interviews were conducted with stakeholders (students and teachers) in Colombo in Western Province, Galle in Southern Province, Kandy in Central Province, Anuradhapura in North Central Province and Vavuniya and Killinochchi in Northern Provinces.

During Project Implementation

The program will strengthen the engagement of the employers organizations and professional bodies in TVET planning and delivery through (i) industry working groups to validate skills gap analysis, training plans, competency standards, and curricula; and (ii) introduction of purchasing model where employer can deliver training to bridge the skills gaps. A student tracking system will be established to ensure feedback from students and graduates can inform the TVET system improvement. The program will also introduce a targeted stipend program to encourage the participation of disadvantaged groups including women in TVET.

In addition to the engagement of employers organizations and professional bodies, civil society organizations providing TVET will also benefit from the program through access to curricula, assessment, quality management systems, as well as opportunities for public-private partnerships.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services As results-based lending, the procurement of consulting services will follow the country system.
Procurement As results-based lending, the procurement will follow the country system.

Responsible Staff

Responsible ADB Officer Song, Gi Soon
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Human and Social Development Division, SARD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training
[email protected]
Nipunatha Piyasa,
No. 354/2, Elvitigala Mawatha,
Colombo 05, Sri Lanka


Concept Clearance 29 Jan 2014
Fact Finding 02 Dec 2013 to 13 Dec 2013
MRM 31 Jan 2014
Approval 28 Mar 2014
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 07 Sep 2016

Loan 3119-SRI

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
28 Mar 2014 27 May 2014 30 May 2014 30 Jun 2017 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 361.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 50.00 28 Mar 2014 29.00 0.00 58%
Counterpart 185.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 126.00 28 Mar 2014 29.00 0.00 58%

Loan 3120-SRI

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
28 Mar 2014 27 May 2014 30 May 2014 30 Jun 2017 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 50.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 50.00 28 Mar 2014 27.66 0.00 60%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 28 Mar 2014 27.66 0.00 60%

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Title Document Type Document Date
Skills Sector Enhancement Program: Environmental and Social Management Framework (Draft) Environmental and Social Management System Frameworks Mar 2014
Skills Sector Enhancement Program: Program Safeguard Systems Assessment Program Safeguard Systems Assessments Jan 2014

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.