The World Bank has invested substantially in skills development in recent years. Between FY2000 and FY2007, following about a decade of low Bank investment in this area, an estimated US$828 million of World Bank investment and development policy lending targeted vocational training—of which a large share was IDA lending (US$565 million). Complementing the lending, a number of analytical reports fed into Country Assistance/Partnership Strategies and informed policy-based operations and Technical Assistance projects.
Recent World Bank Projects
India - Vocational Training Improvement Project
IDA amount: $280 million of which $252 million for TVET. Approval Year: FY07
The objective of the project is to improve the employment outcomes of graduates from the vocational training system, by making the design and delivery of training more demand responsive. There are 3 components: Component 1. Improving Quality of Vocational Training, which focuses on: (a) improving quality and relevance of training provided in 400 eligible Industrial Training Institutes selected competitively from eligible States/Union Territories, (b) upgrading training of ITI instructors, and (c) providing incentive funds to States to reward good performance in project implementation. Component 2. Promoting Systemic Reforms and Innovations, which focuses on activities that lead to enhancement in the overall reach and effectiveness of the vocational training system in the medium-term. Component 3. Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, to provide support for: (a) establishment of project management and implementation structures at the national and state levels, (b) improvements in system management and implementation of reforms through training of policy planners, managers and administrators, (c) project monitoring and dissemination of information with the help of a computer-based management information system, and (d) project evaluation and, policy and system research studies at the national and state levels.
Mozambique - Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project
IDA amount $30 million and $7.5 co-financing from the Netherlands. Approval Year: FY06
The development objectives of the project are to facilitate the transition of the existing TVET system to a demand-driven training system and provide beneficiaries with more market-relevant skills and improved economic opportunities. PIREP has four components: A – Development of an Institutional Framework; B – Development of a Standards-based Qualification and Training System; C – Rehabilitation and Quality Improvement in pilot Training Institutions; and D – Skills Development Fund (FUNDEC) which is based on competition and with particular focus on underserved population in rural areas. To date, the competitive Skills Development Fund (FUNDEC) has been the most successful and popular and has approved a total of 23 projects, supporting four public and six private training institutions and 13 community based projects. An independent review in 2007 found that FUNDEC has strong political and community backing. Final impact and sustainability of projects, however, are yet to be evaluated.
Argentina - Lifelong Learning and Training Project
IBRD amount $200 million of which $100 million for TVET. Approval Year: FY07
The project aims to support the Government of Argentina to consolidate, strengthen, and increase the coverage of a lifelong learning and competency-based training system for disadvantaged adults 18 years or older, with the objectives of: (i) enhancing employability and (ii) strengthening career ladder opportunities. The project has several components whose primary focus is to expand and strengthen competency-based training and certification. This will be achieved by establishing in 30 economic sectors, competency-based training and certification systems, through development, validation and registration of occupational norms; training and certification of evaluators; and ensuring the functioning of qualified third-party assessment centers and certification organizations; aligning the supply of training with the competency-based approach and strengthen professional training institutes; and training, assessing and certifying workers. The Project supports the overall strategy of the Ministry of Labor to develop the workforce skills of disadvantaged workers, in particular through: making qualifications more transparent and portable through the processes of setting standards by employers and workers, and evaluating and certifying competencies; moving non-formal training to a modular, competency-based, standards-driven system, promoting quality, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness among trainers, trainees and workers through testing, certification and accreditation; and offering "second chances" so that youth and adults can recover from false starts in learning.
Good Practice Projects
China-Vocational Education Reform Project
12/12/1996 – 12/31/2002, US$30 million
In support of labor market development, economic restructuring, and state-owned enterprise reform, the Vocational Education Reform Project intended to: (a) improve and increase the supply of skilled labor to meet labor market demands; (b) raise the quality and efficiency of the vocational education and training system; and (c) build up capacity for monitoring, evaluation and dissemination of pilot experiences and replication. The project, implemented in the Provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Liaoning and Shandong and the municipality of Tianjin, had the following components: (a) development of key schools for vocational education; (b) improvement of management and planning of vocational education; and (c) support of project management. The project resulted in overall improvement of the management of vocational education offered by project schools, with spillover effects in the non-project schools. This is evidenced by (a) market responsiveness through closer ties with industry; (b) more flexible, modular approach to vocational training; and (c) actual practice of student-centered teaching-learning techniques and assessment with emphasis on individual development.
Thailand – Technical Education Project
4/01/1997 – 4/30/2002, US$ 31.6 million
The objective of the project was to improve the quality of technical education program in Thailand. The specific objectives were: (a) improve the management capacity within the Rajamangala Institute of Technology (RIT) campuses; (b) strengthen curricula and linkages with industry; (c) upgrade workshops and laboratories through the provision of up-to-date equipment and physical improvements to building; (d) expand the supply and upgrade the quality of instructional materials; and (e) strengthen the practical skills of key teaching staff in advanced technologies through overseas training. The project met overall development objectives. It improved technical education in Thailand by modernizing it and establishing a collaboration between the suppliers (e.g. RIT campuses) and employers (Industries). Prospects for sustaining the project’s outcomes were highly likely. The government remained strongly committed to the promotion and development of highly qualified technical education and training. To support the institutionalization of the project outcome and their long-term sustainability, RIT has initiated several workshops.
Republic of Cape Verde - Education and Training Consolidation and Modernization Project 10/01/1999 – 6/30/2004, US$ 6.0 million , vocational training: 26%
This project was a follow-up of a previous IDA-funded Basic Education and Training Project. The current project was to develop a technically and financially sustainable education and training system to ensure an educated and flexible work force responding to Cape Verde’s social and economic goals. Specific objectives were to: (a) maintain and consolidate the recent reforms in primary education (grades 1-6) and in demand-driven training and apprenticeship programs, and to (b) assist the Government in carrying out a comprehensive sector study, addressing issues of quality and equity in order to identify cost-effective options for the sustainable development of the education/training system through the medium-term. With respect to vocational training, the sector is better structured and likely to be able to respond to the existing demand of professional training. A legal framework for the professional training system was enacted, thus strengthening the system. A private-public partnership has allowed training of more than 2000 individuals. By the end of the project, 72% of apprentices were able to find a job (vs. 80% expected). In addition, the project contributed to generating a new dynamic in the sector, through the strengthening of partnership between the public and private sector and capacity building of the IEFP (Employment and Training Institute).
Benin – Labor Force Development Project
3/13/2001 – 6/30/2005, US$ 5.0 million
The project development objective was to assist in the start-up and pilot testing of a new government program to: (a) increase the availability, quality, and cost-effectiveness of labor force training, targeting the informal sector and women, and (b) strengthen public sector capacities to monitor and evaluate labor force training needs and private sector capacities to improve its training capacity. The project increased substantially the availability, quality, and cost-effectiveness of labor training (particularly for women in the informal sector). The training has a positive impact, especially in the nonagricultural informal sector, on beneficiaries’ income, living conditions, or both. The project also contributed to increasing the capacity of the public sector to monitor and evaluate labor force training needs, and the capacity of the private sector to deliver training.
Hungary – Youth Training Project
12/19/1997 – 4/23/2001, US$ 36.4 million
The Youth Training Project for Hungary was to help adolescents and young adults make the transition from school to work, thus reducing youth unemployment. The project provided equipment, software, and technical assistance and training to continue development and strengthen youth vocational orientation and training programs both in post-secondary and secondary levels. The project achieved major objectives. Some of the general benefits of the projects include (a) expanded use of monitoring the effectiveness of training programs, student evaluation of courses; (b) change of attitude of teachers to focus more on labor market requirement and to make courses more practical; (c) the competitive process to select participating schools; (d) general exposure to new teaching methods and technology; and (e) more exposure to career information and counseling techniques.
Tunisia – Second Training and Employment Project
1/01/1996 – 6/30/2002, US$60 million
The project was to support the government's strategy to reform the vocational training sector in order to increase the competitiveness of the Tunisian economy, help make training and employment services more relevant to the needs of individuals and enterprises, and assist the government in its strategy to increase labor productivity and mobility. Specific objectives were: (a) developing government capacity to monitor the labor market and to use economic analysis to identify and evaluate alternative training investment opportunities; (b) gradually replacing the existing institution-based training by enterprise-based, dual training and apprenticeship programs; (c) promoting in-service training for small and medium enterprises and improving the vocational training tax-rebate system; and (d) enhancing labor mobility by developing employment services for workers affected by economic restructuring. The project had strong positive effects on the employability and earnings of participants compared to control groups. The project also contributed to developing monitoring and evaluation capacity of the government.