Skills for Reconstruction

Brief Introduction


The Employment Fund was initially established in 2008 based on an agreement between the Government of Nepal and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It was further funded by Department for International Development, United Kingdom (DFID) from 2009. The fund is managed by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal through Employment Fund Secretariat and steered by Ministry of Education, Government of Nepal. It has been imparting technical and vocational skills to the unemployed youth, linking them to the labour market for gainful employment and/or helping them become entrepreneurs since its establishment.


Over the past nine years, the Employment Fund has trained more than 100,000 youth through the private sector Training and Employment Service Providers in market oriented occupations combined with soft skills. Apart from its regular implementation, the Employment Fund has been providing technical support to the Enhanced Vocational Education and Training (EVENT) Project which is managed by the Ministry of Education, Government of Nepal with its best practices, approaches, and joint monitoring system. After the devastating Earthquake of April 2015 in Nepal, the Employment Fund initiated its Skills for Reconstruction component with the aim to contribute to the reconstruction process through on-site skills training at local level.


Context of Reconstruction Skills Project


The earthquake of 25 April 2015 and the subsequent aftershocks have had a devastating effect in the physical infrastructure and caused human casualties. It has severely destructed the public and the private houses in the 14 of the 32 affected districts. Capitalizing on its extensive experience in the skills and the employment sector, the Employment Fund provided skills training for reconstruction through private Training and Employment Service Providers and produced 2981 skilled human resources in Gorkha, Dhading, Sindhupalchok, Dolakha, Ramechhap and Okhaldhunga districts during the period from July 2015 to December 2016. This pilot initiatives was supported by SDC. Apart from this, additional support from SDC for 2017 has been helping to continue training for 350 additional people in masonry in Ramechhap district.


After the success of the pilot initiative on skills for reconstruction, the National Reconstruction Authority and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal signed an agreement for the implementation of ‘Reconstruction Skills project’ with the aim to produce 6,500 masons and 1,000 construction carpenter for earthquake resilient reconstruction by the end of 2017 with the support of DFID. This aligns with the Government of Nepal’s plan to speed up the reconstruction activities and address the need for skilled labour.


Geographic coverage


The Reconstruction Skills project covers 113 Village Development Committees (VDCs) of Kavrepalanchok (31), Sindhuli (32), Makawanpur (24), Okhaldhunga (13) and Rasuwa (13) districts. Likewise as the continuation of pilot project of SDC, it also covers 6 VDCs of Ramechhap district. These VDCs were selected in consultation with the National Reconstruction Authority, District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC), District Administration Office (DAO), the concerned government agencies and available secondary data. This process has helped to identify the gap of skilled human resource in the construction sector. The project is being implemented in coordination with district level authorities of National Reconstruction Authority and Department of Urban Development and Building Construction.



Implementation process


The Employment Fund select the districts based on Rapid Market Appraisal (RMA) in general however in case of Reconstruction Skills Project, the selection of the districts were done in the basis damages and/or instruction given by the National Reconstruction Authority. The Training and Employment Service Providers are capacitated to use the RMA tools to further assess the types of training needed, number of beneficiaries, training locations, available existing workers in the construction sector, and so on. Currently, trainings are being provided on Mason and Construction Carpenter equivalent to Level 1 certification from National Skill Testing Board of Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT).


The project is working closely with the local government agencies for alignment of activities with the national priorities and needs, and with other agencies to create synergy in reconstruction. The primary beneficiaries will be from the project’s target group (mentioned under the heading, “Target Group”). The selection process will include a community level orientation in close collaboration with local government and other agencies so that there is no dispute.


Mason Training (50 days on-site training)


The Employment Fund has adapted an on-site 50 days skills training modality in masonry incorporating earthquake resilient technology. The training has incorporated the concept of constructing real earthquake resilient house during the training period. The beneficiaries are the people highly affected by earthquake and/or those who are interested to make a career in construction sector. Trainees learn by working for 6 to 8 hours a day. The practical on-site training is complemented by theoretical class. A total of 6,500 people are targeted for this training and a group of 10 trainees are guided by one lead instructor and one co-instructor who will construct two houses during the training period. The lead trainer must have the Training of Instructors on earthquake resilient technology and should have at least Level 2 skills certification or equivalent.


Seven days skills enhancement training for the existing carpenters


A 7-days' earthquake resilient skills enhancement training on carpentry is being provided for 1,000 existing carpenters. The customized curriculum is designed incorporating the major earthquake resilient technology and approved by CTEVT. The training manuals and other training aids are also used to conduct the training through Training and Employment Service Providers. The main objective of this is to enable existing carpenters build earthquake resilient houses and meet the existing crisis of skilled carpenters in the market during short period of time.

Target group



The primary target group for this program will be women and men from 14 highly affected districts and VDCs as below:


•   Age bar:            16-40 years; in exceptional cases more than 40 years of age


•   Education:       Not for regular students


•   Priorities:         •   Economically poor and socially discriminated people having interest in

                                    Masonry and Carpentry work

•   Vulnerable Group  and women headed households.


Categorization of target groups:



Target Groups


Economically poor women from Dalit or from special groups (single women, disabled, internally displaced people, ex-combatants and HIV/AIDS infected)


Economically poor women not covered by category A.


Economically poor men from discriminated groups (Dalit, Janajati, Madeshi) or from special groups (disabled, internally displaced people, ex-combatants and HIV/AIDS infected)


Economically poor men not covered by category C.



Monitoring and Quality Assurance


Monitoring and supervision is carried out by the Training and Employment Service Providers at first level. Employment Fund Secretariat will also make sure that its partners employ technical professionals for monitoring quality of training and construction of during-training house.


Further, the monitoring officers and the technical professionals (Engineers and Sub-engineers) from Employment Fund Secretariat will ensure the quality of the training and the application of the acquired skills at construction works. Monitoring of all activities related to the training is carried out and covers: information dissemination, trainee application form collection, trainees’ selection, on-site training conduction.  Results like learning achievement, confidence level of trainees and verification of employment and post training construction based on guideline of National Building Code and Nepal Reconstruction Authority   are ensured by the monitoring staffs.


In addition to the physical supervision of technical persons, to ensure the quality of the houses constructed during the training, Electronic Photo Monitoring System has also been introduced. This electronic system allows taking pictures in key milestones and uploading it through mobile application. The Community Supervisors are selected, oriented and mobilized to take the picture of each set milestones which reflects the quality and progress of the construction work.


The project follows results-based financing system. Payment to the implementing partners is made in installments as per the achievement of agreed output (no of graduates trained) and outcomes (number of constructed houses or employment of the graduates meeting income threshold as specified by EF).