Employment Fund

An estimated 450,000 young people enter the Nepalese labour market every year, out of which almost 90% are unskilled. Entering gainful employment remains a challenge for many Nepalese youth due to low basic educational levels and limited access to vocational training, which often does not respond to market needs. With the aim of addressing these needs, the Employment Fund was established in 2007 in a joint effort between the Government of Nepal, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and operated from 2008. Currently the Employment Fund is financed by SDC, UKAid (Department for International Development DFID) and the World Bank.

It offers training for economically very poor and socially discriminated youths to ensure their entry into the labour market immediately after short- term market oriented skills training in about 80 trades under Path to Prosperity component. It also facilitates youths who want to establish enterprises of their own creating additional jobs under Micro Enterprising for Job Creation component.

The Employment Fund Secretariat, which is operated by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, is managing the Employment Fund program. The Employment Fund is governed by a Steering Committee with representatives from the Government of Nepal and the donor agencies.

"Path to Prosperity (Skills for very poor and discriminated youth)"

What is Path to Prosperity?

Youth in the age range of 18-40 years from the poorest and most vulnerable households in Nepal receive a technical and life skills training package which caters for their special needs and provides them with opportunities for gainful employment for better prospects in life.

Reaching out to youth with special needs

Path to Prosperity aims to provide access to economic opportunities for those individuals who often have the least opportunities in life due to their social and cultural background, their physical condition, social stigmata and/or poverty related disadvantages.

Literacy and numeracy training

Functional and needs-based literacy and numeracy skills are imparted to illiterates and out of school to help them take part in the technical skills training.

Needs-based facility support

To make our trainings accessible to the most vulnerable groups of society, accommodation, food and transport cost compensation and on-site child care can be offered based on individual needs assessment. A starter kit of occupation- related tools is provided to all graduates after training completion.

Life skills training

Since many trainees have faced difficult situations in their lives, social, interpersonal, cognitive and emotional coping skills as well as an orientation on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS is provided to all participants of the Path to Prosperity component.

Multiple income generation

Optional multi-skilling (one additional technical skills training) is provided. This provides the trainee with better opportunities to enhance the income after graduation with diversified work options.

Post-training support

Practical on-the-job training, counseling on employment possibilities, optional business skills training and linkages to financial services for graduates interested in self-employment facilitate Employment Fund’s graduates’ entry into the labour.
"Micro- Enterprising for Job Creation (Skills for business establishment and creation of jobs for others)"

What is Micro-Enterprising for Job Creation?

Mature and business-minded youth aged 18-40 years receive a technical and business skills training package focusing on enterprise start-up and are expected to register a new business at the end of training. Additionally, they create new jobs, preferably for disadvantaged youth graduating from the Employment Fund’s second training component Path to Prosperity.

Career counseling and financial literacy training

Participants are guided in their career choices and take informed decisions about the skill training, which in turn ensures that participants feel motivated for the training. A package of basic financial literacy is provided to all trainees teaching them about saving schemes, investment, basic bookkeeping and other skills related to the financial operation of small enterprises.

Business motivation and preparation of business plan

The applicants receive insight on skills needed to run a business and they are informed about the challenges entrepreneurs can face during the establishment of enterprises. This provides them with a real image of what is required to be an entrepreneur. The trainees further receive support from experts to plan their businesses realistically.

Practical skills and exposure visits

Trainees receive basic technical skills training which is required to run their business. Trainees are familiarised with their future business environment by visiting businesses similar to their own future enterprise. By working on the job already during training, they gain practical skills and get to know the work from first-hand experience.

Post-training support

Once graduated, the entrepreneurs receive a starter kit of tools and support in the registration of their newly founded businesses, in establishing backward and forward linkages, and linkage to financial services and new technologies. They receive regular post-training support for six months.

Target Groups

The target groups of both the program components are: unemployed youth aged between 18-40 years. The target groups are categorized in four categories as follows:

Economically poor men from all caste/ethnicities not referred to under category C. Men from all caste/ethnicities not referred to under category C.

Category Path to Prosperity Micro enterprising for job creation
A Economically poor women from discriminate groups (Dalit, Widow, Disabled, ex-combatants, internally displaced, HIV/AIDS infected etc.) Women from discriminate groups (Dalit, Widow, Disabled, ex- combatants, internally displaced, HIV/AIDS infected etc.)
B Economically poor women from all caste/ethnicities not referred to under category A Women from all caste/ethnicities not referred to under category A
C Economically poor men from discriminated groups (Dalit, Janajati, Madeshi, Disabled, ex-combatants, internally displaced, HIV/AIDS infected etc.) Men from discriminated groups (Dalit, Janajati, Madeshi, Disabled, ex-combatants, internally displaced, HIV/AIDS infected etc.)
D Economically poor men from all caste/ethnicities not referred to under category C Men from all caste/ethnicities not referred to under category C
Remarks Poor is defined as per the categories defined by Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) of Government of Nepal as category A to C. In exceptional cases with non- PAF communities, the same poverty definitions will be applied. No economic poverty criterion is applied for this component. The applicants might be skilled or unskilled but not self-employed currently; normally who are ready to invest, who are willing to start their enterprises and can create job for others will be given the priority

How does it work?

The Employment Fund finances to more then 30 private sector T&Es for technical skills training and employment placement services. It has mainly adapted outcome based financing approach to its partner organizations (T&Es) and pays based neither on the outcome (i.e employment) nor for the activities (training). Similarly, it also supports for establishing enterprises initiated by graduates.

Service Procurement Process