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Sri Lanka: Skills Sector Enhancement Program

Sovereign (Public) Project | 42251-018 Status: Closed

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.

Project Details

Project Officer
Halgamage Don, Sudarshana Anojan Jayasundara South Asia Department Request for information
  • Sri Lanka
  • Grant
  • Loan
  • Education
Project Name Skills Sector Enhancement Program
Project Number 42251-018
Country Sri Lanka
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
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
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 50.00 million
Loan: Skills Sector Enhancement Program
Export-Import Bank of Korea US$ 26.00 million
World Bank US$ 101.50 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
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 Outcome target achieved as of 2016 as verified through a third-party tracer study. Within 6 months of graduation, 58% of NVQ course graduates were employed. MSDVT continues efforts to sustain progress, including to better match training with industry demands. A skills gap analyses for two priority sectors was endorsed in September 2017. The remaining disbursement-linked indicators are expected to be achieved in Q1 2018.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Improved quality of TVET provision

Enhanced industry partnership for TVET planning and provision

Increased participation and improved equity in TVET

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

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

Achieved- Inter-ministerial Committee developed Sri Lanka's first TVET plan which was approved by the Department of National Planning.

Ongoing- SSDD produced annual plans for until 2018, and performance reports for up to 2015.

Achieved- Surveys of public and private sector training providers completed in 2015. District coordination committees strengthened to maximize training capacity across different IAs.

Achieved for 2014-2016. For 2016, 83% of annual budget spent.

Ongoing- SSDD has separate budget item for activities such as capacity devt training, and ELTP. PPAs signed between MSDVT and IAs for better accountability for results, and alignment between annual agency workplan and budget.

Achieved- By 2017, 57 centers piloted PBF model (including 31 VTA centers).

Ongoing- Gender equity and social inclusion framework (GESIF) adopted in 2017 and budget allocated for its implementation.

Ongoing- As of 2016, NVQ-accredited training programs increased from 13% in 2012 to 66% in 2016.

Ongoing- As of end 2016, 65% of TVET enrollees graduated (65% male, 66% female).

Achieved- The recruitment criteria and performance-based allowance scheme under the vocational teacher development policy have been implemented by 5 IAs by December 2017.

Achieved- As of December 2017, 173 TVEC-registered public and private training providers established QMS.

Achieved- Three university colleges established by 2015, of which two are operational as of April 2017.

Ongoing- Four industry sector skills councils established by 2016, and two sector training plans are being finalized for implementation by March 2018.

Ongoing- ETAs signed for 2872 trainees, with 21 training providers as of December 2017. Bidding ongoing for ETAs for additional trainees.

Ongoing- As of 2016, student enrollment reported as 188,764 in TVET programs.

Achieved- As of 31 Dec 2017, 31,592 workers certified through RPL (23.5% women).

Achieved. In 2014-2016, over 42,000 students received stipends for TVET.

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 program.
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.

In 2016, a tracer study was conducted including focus group discussions among TVET graduates, training centers and employers to receive feedbacks to the TVET system performance.

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 ADB Officer Halgamage Don, Sudarshana Anojan Jayasundara
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Sri Lanka Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development & Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage
[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 12 Mar 2018

Loan 3119-SRI

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
28 Mar 2014 27 May 2014 30 May 2014 30 Jun 2017 31 Mar 2018 17 Jul 2018
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 362.50 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 50.00 28 Mar 2014 50.00 0.00 100%
Counterpart 185.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 127.50 28 Mar 2014 50.00 0.00 100%

Loan 3120-SRI

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
28 Mar 2014 27 May 2014 30 May 2014 30 Jun 2017 31 Mar 2018 17 Jul 2018
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 46.76 0.00 100%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 28 Mar 2014 46.76 0.00 100%

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 Access to Information Policy (AIP) 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.

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 - Additional Financing: Environmental and Social Management Framework Environmental and Social Management System Frameworks Nov 2017
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 Access to Information Policy (AIP) 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.


No tenders for this project were found.

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor Contractor Address Executing Agency Contract Description Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
DISBURSEMENTS FOR DLI3(MAY 2016), DLI4 (MAY 2016), DLI5 (MAY 2016) Loan 3120 28 Mar 2018 VARIOUS VARIOUS SRI LANKA Ministry of Skills Devt and Vocational Training OTHERS 4,745,321.00 4,745,321.00
DISBURSEMENT FOR DLI3(MAY 2016),DLI4(MAY 2016) DLI5(MAY 2016) Loan 3119 21 Mar 2018 VARIOUS VARIOUS VARIOUS SRI LANKA Ministry of Skills Devt and Vocational Training OTHERS 5,000,000.00 5,000,000.00
FOR DLI5 (YEAR 2) Loan 3119 15 Dec 2017 VARIOUS VARIOUS SRI LANKA Ministry of Skills Devt and Vocational Training OTHERS 2,000,000.00 2,000,000.00
DLI5 (YEAR 2) Loan 3120 15 Dec 2017 VARIOUS VARIOUS SRI LANKA SRI LANKA Ministry of Skills Devt and Vocational Training OTHERS 1,844,821.00 1,844,821.00
DISBURSEMENT FOR DLI 3 (2015), DLI 4 (2015), DLI 2 (2016) Loan 3119 10 Oct 2017 VARIOUS VARIOUS SRI LANKA Ministry of Skills Devt and Vocational Training OTHERS 5,000,000.00 5,000,000.00
DISBURSEMENT FOR DLI 3 (2015), DLI 4 (2015), DLI 2 (2016) TOTALLING SDR3,260,000 Loan 3120 10 Oct 2017 VARIOUS VARIOUS SRI LANKA Ministry of Skills Devt and Vocational Training OTHERS 4,583,136.00 4,583,136.00

Procurement Plan

None currently available.