The Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150 million loan to establish the first multi-skills park in India. This will be equipped with international training facilities to enhance the quality of Madhya Pradesh’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system, creating a more skilled workforce that meets the labor market needs of the state.
“Madhya Pradesh has one of the largest working-age populations in India, with the labor force expected to expand from 48 million in 2016 to 56 million in 2026. However, not a lot of them have the necessary skills and training that can meet the employment needs of the state’s emerging sectors,” said ADB Principal Social Sector Specialist Ms. Sunhwa Lee. “ADB’s assistance will help open up opportunities to the men and women of Madhya Pradesh to gain high-level skills that increase their employability and capacity to contribute to growth.”
The skills gap in the state of Madhya Pradesh is expected to increase in the next six years, with an incremental demand for skilled workers projected to hit 5.6 million in 2024. More than half (55%) of the state’s workforce is currently in agriculture, while 22% is in the industry and 23% in services. The percentage of people in the workforce that has undergone any formal vocational training is just 1.2%. This is exacerbated by the fact that quality and industrial relevance of current TVET programs in Madhya Pradesh are inadequate, with employers revealing that many graduates of these programs require additional training.
The new flagship Global Skills Park (GSP) campus, which will be established in Bophal, will consist of core advanced training institutes including the Center for Occupational Skills Acquisition and the Center for Advanced Agricultural Training as well as other support services focusing on entrepreneurship, training of trainers, and skill-related research. The GSP campus, which will serve as the state’s central hub for other TVET institutes, will have training facilities focusing on skills for manufacturing, service, and advanced agricultural jobs, benefitting about 20,000 trainees and trainers.
The Madhya Pradesh Skills Development Project will also help in modernizing 10 industrial training institutes across the state by renovating training infrastructure and upgrading skills courses to align with industry and market needs. In addition to 1 to 2-year training, the renovated institutes will develop short-term training programs, including those targeting women and socially disadvantaged groups, which will benefit around 80,000 individuals. While the GSP campus will introduce technology-oriented advanced skills, the state’s industrial training institutes will focus on providing mid-level skills programs.
ADB will also administer a $2 million technical assistance grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, financed by the Government of Japan, that will help assist in the preparation of the operational guidelines and setting up of the GSP Society as well as in the development of reform initiatives for industrial training institutes.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in co-financing.