New Delhi, Mar 28 (PTI) Multi-lateral funding agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 80 million loan for hill state Himachal Pradesh to fund modernisation of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and improve skills ecosystem to help boost employability of the youth.

ADB and the central government today inked a USD 80 million loan agreement, signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Finance Ministry and Kenichi Yokoyama, ADB Country Director in India.

“The project will support the government of Himachal’s skills policy to guide the reform and scale-up skills development efforts in the state,” Khare said.

“It will fund short-term and long-term training programmes in growth areas including cars, electronics, pharmaceutical, tourism and hospitality, banking and financial services, healthcare to help state youth enhance their skillsets and get better paying jobs,” he said.

Manila-headquartered ADB said the state needs more than 5 lakh skilled workers by 2022 across various trades.

The Himachal Pradesh Skills Development Project will help seize this opportunity by providing support in developing relevant and good quality TVET programmes, thereby improving job prospects of nearly 65,000 youths from 2017 to 2022.

“After achieving impressive enrolment rates for higher education, the state of Himachal Pradesh faces ‘second-generation’ challenge of preparing its youth for the challenging labour market,” Yokoyama said.

“The project will help in equipping the youth with market-relevant technical and vocational skills.” Setting up a polytechnic institution for women, 6 city livelihood centres and 7 rural livelihood centres as well as upgradation of 11 employment exchanges into model career centres are part of this funding project.

It will help improve TVET awareness among youth, modernise training equipment, implement a training information system, forge partnerships with private sector and creating better access to quality market-relevant TVET and livelihood development opportunities for youth in Himachal Pradesh, ADB said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.