Youth Skills & Employability
Among those in the work force in Nepal, nearly half have never attended school. There is extensive anecdotal evidence of complaints made by modern businesses of poorly qualified students who are not able to meet their work demands, indicating gross mismatch between skills demanded and training provided. Overall, however, there are few jobs available domestically; and youth have been migrating in large numbers out of necessity than by choice (World Bank, 2010). A third of the working male population is already believed to be abroad (mostly in low skilled poorly paying jobs). While remittance contributes a staggering 28 percent of the GDP; the majority of the overseas workers are unskilled and depend on unpredictable work arrangements. The country needs to quickly re-think its skills development strategy for the medium to long term.
Given that globalization and technological changes are leading to increased standardization and common competencies, it is essential to ensure that students graduate with global professional competencies and skills, and that they are able to create, seek and find relevant jobs. South Asia being the biggest supplier of labor force in the world, it is critical to explore options to link an effective education system with both the formal and informal sectors of the economy. With innovations in technology, it is now possible to advocate for a fairly robust life-long learning system. Also essential are investigations and continuous monitoring of youth migration, their status abroad, and effective transition and welfare of returnees; as well as explorations into effective ‘second chance’ options for youth. The Center prioritizes these areas of investigation through surveys and research.