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About Us

The UKaid funded Skills for Employment (सीप) programme aims to take advantage of the potential economic dividend of a growing working-age population by helping to improve the skill of Nepali people, including women and disadvantaged groups, and helping them to undertake employment activities either in Nepal or through migration. The programme supports the generation of new and improved employment by working with government, employers in the private sector, and training and education institutions to carry out innovative, inclusion-enabling market-based interventions. Since 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic brought an unprecedented human and economic crisis in Nepal, and globally. Despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19, UKaid सीप—and its partners—have found ways to adapt and sustain their skilling initiatives. This has been possible in large part due to: i) an increased and accelerated adoption of digital solutions; ii) innovations in business models; iii) diversification of skilling areas; and iv) expanded shared-value multi-sectoral partnerships that allowed diverse institutions to leverage and optimize resources. The lead implementing partner of the programme is WSP, an internationally recognized multidisciplinary consulting firm that provides technical and programme management expertise in infrastructure, governance, skills development, MSME development and public-private partnerships.

Using an innovative Challenge Fund mechanism, UKaid सीप is expanding market-aligned skilling services, affordable financial products, and ethical migration services linked to gainful livelihoods for Nepalis and higher productivity/growth for industries. The programme is brokering transformational partnerships with the private and public sector to propel growth of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in priority sectors – commercial agriculture, light manufacturing, tourism, ICT, and construction – primarily in Province 2 and Lumbini Province. Using a collaborative impact approach, सीप unlocks private and public capital and facilitates system-wide collaborations—aimed at addressing systemic job and labor market constraints and harnessing the benefits of migration. As of June 2021, the programme has forged 13 enterprise-led partnerships on a co-funding basis.

Since 2018, UKaid सीप has conducted several market assessments and partnership scoping exercises to lay the groundwork for successful implementation. These surveys, consultations, and engagements with various public and private sector stakeholders, at the federal, provincial, and local levels, have helped the programme  identify and validate gaps in demand and supply in skills and migration as well as areas for potential collaboration, which have fed into the design and execution of partnerships. 

Below are the key guiding principles that underlines UKaid सीप’s efforts, geared toward strengthening systems and industries to enable and ensure sustainable investments and collaborations by market actors for skilling, job creation, and migration management. 

Building a New Paradigm for Skilling and Jobs

  1. Market demand-led conversations – starting with an understanding of growth trajectories and workforce demands within industries and firms; all engagements start with or calls for prospective employers in the room. 
  2. Co-creation approach with prospective partners – for designs that are not only industry-aligned but also end-user (job seeker) focused, innovative, and intended at addressing broader market and firm constraints.
  3. Heightened emphasis on forging stronger multi-sectoral collaborations – unlocking private and public capital and getting with the whole ecosystem vested to build synergy, foster partnerships, and amplify impact.
  4. Integrated and holistic approach to skilling and job creation -- to enable and accelerate growth and productivity of firms and industries, while also addressing systemic constraints.  
  5. Dismantle social barriers and stereotypes to promote gender equality and social inclusion and promote safeguards against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.
  6. Integrate soft skills – focus is bigger and broader than just technical skills to support success and retention at workplaces.  
  7. Embrace and encourage adoption of good human resource management practices – from how to mobilize trainees to retain workforce and sensitization of employers.  
  8. Promote and institutionalize intentional learning and adaptive management practices at सीप and at our partners. Two-phased pilot and scale-up approach allows for testing ideas, building prototype, learning, and refining plans and strategies continually. 
  9. Serve as an equal partner. सीप’s team is equally invested in each partnership, alongside our partners, to support achievement of plans and goals, with technical assistance, linkage to other actors, co-creation etc. 
  10. Labour market regulation is likely to increase productivity initiatives and therefore a shift away from demand for unskilled labour to skilled labour will be integral to migration management that also includes fair and affordable migration. Similarly, focus stays on emerging job roles, sectors and industries, not just current roles in Nepal and abroad.

UKaid सीप SUPPORTED PARTNERSHIPS

To support revival of the Palpali Dhaka industry for sustainable job creation and enterprise growth, सीप, with support from the Lumbini Province and Tansen Municipality, catalysed creation of and co-funding for Palpali Dhaka Association (PDA). Comprising of nine firms, PDA is providing a coordinated platform to improve stronger skilling practices, including through standardized three-month apprenticeship-based curriculum on weaving, business literacy, and soft skills; set fair-trade standards; enhanced trainer skills; built marketing capabilities; and improved linkages with diverse actors like the NMB Bank, Triveni Spinning Mill, international buyers and Label STEP.

Laxmi Bank is expanding and refining the use of block chain technology by integrating an Application Programming Interface platform to make loan against remittance and other services more accessible and affordable for migrant households in Province 2 and Lumbini Province―targeting migrants already working in and traveling to the Dubai and Malaysia corridors. Through its micro finance partner Laxmi Laghubitta, the Bank is also extending tailored financial products, coupled with business development skilling, to promote enterprises―especially for women-led enterprises in the agri-sector.

Sana Kisan Bikas Laghubitta Bittyasanstha Ltd. is building entrepreneurial capabilities of returnee migrants, women, and disadvantaged groups—through improved access to tailored and bundled financial products, including credit and insurance, coupled with skilling—across 12 districts in Provinces 2 and Lumbini Province. For this, Sana Kisan is collaborating with 101 Small Farmer Agriculture Cooperatives. 

MAW Earth Movers Pvt. Ltd offers job-linked skilling and certification, aligned with JCB and CTEVT, in Heavy Equipment Operator and Mechanics roles. With सीप’s support, MEPL is on its way to introduce multi-tracking capability skilling in multiple and simulator-based skilling for the first time in Nepal; upgraded the capacity of local skilling institutes in Nepalgunj and Bhaktapur; set up a practical skilling centre in Janakpur; and is promoting inclusion in an industry heavily dominated by men.

Upaya: CityCargo is accelerating transformation of the intra-city logistics industry as well as farm-to-market delivery of agriculture produce to close supply chain logistic gaps and boost digitally powered self-employment—for drivers and farmers. सीप has helped integrate skilling (covering digital literacy, financial literacy, customer relations, road safety and vehicle maintenance) in Upaya and agri-business partner Kheti’s business model to drive up adoption of digital technologies; financing solutions; and inclusion. Upaya has entered the two-wheeler segment (in addition to four-wheelers), expanded to Butwal, Bhairahawa and Pokhara, and integrated with agriculture to expand market access for farmers. 

Fusemachines has established a state-of-the-art AI centre to impart skills and enable high-value jobs. Fusemachines’ short-term curricula—covering Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, and Natural Language Processing—were iterated, tested, and refined and have been adopted by five colleges to build broader skilling capability and democratize access for Nepali students. 

Label STEP is developing fair-trade based weaving workshops and skilled weavers linked to the carpet value chain to cater to the global high-value luxury carpet industry. This partnership has taken Nepal’s carpet manufacturing hub from Kathmandu to an underserved geographic area – Sarlahi which has traditionally served as the origin of Nepal’s weaving community, and is creating jobs for local women, primarily from migrant households, and disadvantaged and PwD groups. 

Genese Cloud Academy has helped enhance skilling capabilities of 50 academic institutes, including Institute of Engineering at Pulchowk Campus, by facilitating adoption of globally recognized cloud computing skilling and certification by Amazon Web Services. Using an online and in-person instruction approach, aided by training of trainers, this partnership is building students’ work-readiness. With catalytic support from सीप, in 2020, to promote participation of women in ICT, Genese also enabled the introduction of the U.S. based Girls in Tech in Nepal.

Nepal Yarn Manufacturers’ Association and सीप’s multi-factory partnership is enabling quality job-linked skilling and employment and improved factory capability at the Triveni Spinning Mill, Jagadamba Spinning Mill, Reliance Spinning Mill, Tricot Industry, and Jaya Spinning Mill. This partnership has led to the development of a standardized industry-adopted curriculum covering five job roles alongside upgraded infrastructure, inclusion, and streamlined operations. 

Rojgari Services, a medium-sized job placement service provider, is expanding skilling-linked job placements for blue-collar job roles. सीप’s partnership has improved Rojgari’s digital and physical infrastructure and service quality. To onboard and connect job seekers with industry clients, Rojgari uses a combination of brick-and-mortar Rojgari Pasals, mobile outreach vehicle Ghumti Rojgari Pasal, and mobile and web application <www.rojgari.com>. सीप also brokered support from Rojgari for Lumbini Province Government’s digital job portal.

Shreenagar Agro Farm (SAF) has established classroom and farm-based skilling capability in Lumbini Province. Drawing on its linkages with diverse firms, SAF has developed and tested new modules covering five job roles: poultry, livestock, agri-business, maize, and aquaculture. In addition to hands-on skilling, SAF’s end-to-end solutions include provision of access to input such as day-old-chicks and feed and market linkage with buy-back guarantees—to upskill and expand market access for smallholders and agri-enterprises, while also strengthening the firm’s supply chain. 

Financial institute partners Nepal SBI Bank and Prabhu Bank served the migrant/migrant household population in Province 2 with an integrated array of financial products, including financial literacy and credit to promote enterprises.

Learn more about the partnerships forged by UKaid सीप here. To download a two-page factsheet on UKaid सीप, click here. You can follow the progress, impacts, and insights -- updated regularly -- on this Insights and Impact page.

Challenge Fund Mechanism

UKaid सीप draws on national and international resources to provide co-investment and technical assistance to the Nepali private and the public sector. Using a Challenge Fund mechanism, we partner with the private and public sector to generate and expand innovative training models in the above-mentioned sectors to address key market constraints and opportunities by leveraging private and public sector investments and catalyzing stronger partnerships and system-wide collaborations to augment individual as well as collective skilling models. 

The Challenge Fund eligibility criteria includes, the ability of the applicant to: i) respond to market constraints; ii) number of beneficiaries trained and placed in gainful employment; iii) impact, iv) innovation, v) additionality, vi) inclusion, vii) scalability and sustainability, viii) value for money, ix) leverage, and x) evaluability. 

UKaid सीप also provides a unique opportunity for international service providers to work with Nepali partners by proposing sustainable co-investment models that ensure quality training and placement for Nepalis in the domestic and foreign labour markets. 

For more on the Challenge Fund application process and templates, please visit.

Implementing Agencies

As UKaid’s implementing partner, WSP ensures close coordination with relevant government entities at the federal; provincial and local level, the private sector, donor agencies and other stakeholders involved in skills development and migration optimization. WSP's partners on UKaid सीप include Frost & Sullivan, Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), and Clear Horizon. 

Learn more about the implementing agencies: About the Implementers.