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UKaid Nepal Skills for Employment Programme (सीप) Officially Launches Challenge Fund

Aims to Support New Employment Generation by Working with Government, Employers in the Private Sector, Training and Education Institutions, and Youths

17 April, 2019 Kathmandu: At a special event organized today, the UKaid-funded four-year Skills for Employment Programme (सीप) launched its Challenge Fund in the presence of over 150 representatives of the Nepalese private sector, government and development partners.

सीप will support the generation of new employment by working with government, employers in the private sector, training and education institutions, and youths to carry out innovative employment interventions, including skills training and job placement which provides higher wages for individuals and increases the productivity of firms in growth sectors. The programme is strongly aligned with the Government of Nepal’s (GON) policy to create domestic employment.

“We have identified series of critical market failures where the allocation of resources is not efficient, leading to losses in social welfare. And we are pleased to launch the Skills for Employment Programme Challenge Fund to help address these market failures. We hope to see new ideas and solutions & partnerships that develop viable business models, promote innovation & technology, and work with GON to improve the systems & institutions that deliver outcomes in Nepal,” shared Dr. Rurik Marsden, Head of Office, DFID Nepal, during his opening remarks.

Similarly, Mr. Sishir Dhungana, Honorable Secretary - Economic Development and Infrastructure, Office of the Prime Minister, also expressed his expectations regarding the programme’s reach and impact. “When I learnt about सीप, I was incredibly excited with the innovative market-led approach that सीप brings to catalyze increased and improved investments and partnerships on skill-building; the value proposition it offers in the form of co-funding and technical assistance, including to broker transformational partnerships within and between the private sector and the Government”, he said.

UKaid सीप focuses on ICT, tourism, commercial agriculture, construction (hydropower) and light manufacturing sectors through market-led interventions that enable job creation, increase in incomes and migration optimization. The programme is harnessing the benefits of migration for Nepal’s workforce and economic development by demonstrating several cost-effective models to increase migrants’ skills; lower financing and other costs of traveling abroad; and increase savings and investment of remittances. Through technical assistance and its Challenge Fund, सीप will co-invest with the private sector and government to usher in transformative skilling and migration management models in Nepal.

“As a result of these interventions, the project will harness and assist over 90,000 Nepalis to reach their potential with skilling aimed at work-readiness, upskilling, professional advancement and safer migration while enabling businesses to increase and improve productivity. Of the total cohort, 40% will be women and 40% from Disadvantaged Groups (DAGs) including Persons with Disabilities (PwDs),” shared Mr. Baljit Vohra, Team Leader of UKaid सीप.

Along with a detailed overview of the सीप Challenge Fund, the event also saw a vibrant and engaging Panel Discussion on “Changing the Paradigm for Skilling in Partnership with the Private Sector in Nepal/Responses on the UKaid सीप’s Challenge Fund Value Proposition”. The panelists included, Anuj Agrawal, Vice President – Confederation of Nepalese Industries and Director- Vishal Group, Birendra Pandey, Director – Nepal Adarsha Nirman Company, Chaitanya Kagalkar, Country Head – Nepal, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Kusum Lama, Managing Director – Prabhu Management, Moushumi Shrestha, Director – Shreenagar Agro Group, Revathy Rugmini K S, Regional Representative – Asia, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Subash Manandhar, Senior Director of Artificial Intelligence Services – Fusemachines.