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ADB to Help 200,000 Indian Youths Develop Skills for Better Jobs, Income

ADB, New Delhi, 22 June 2017 - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $102 million to help the Government of India train around 200,000 youths aged 15-34 in Odisha — in the eastern part of India — to develop their skills and prepare them for better work and higher-paying jobs.

ADB will also administer a $2 million technical assistance grant for the capacity building component of the project provided by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, financed by the Government of Japan.

“With Odisha’s economy transitioning to focus more on industry and services from being predominantly agriculture-based, it is essential there is a highly skilled workforce that can meet increasing labor demands,” said Sunhwa Lee, an ADB Principal Social Sector Specialist. “The project will focus on developing and training youth, as well as women and disadvantaged groups, to improve their employability and become productive members of the local economy.”

A core problem in the state of Odisha is the low employability of its young workforce in the formal sector (80% of those employed are in the informal sector) due to their low skills level. While the state’s youth unemployment rate of 6.8% is slightly higher than the national average of 5.8%, Odisha’s underemployment rate at 11% is nearly double the national average.

The Odisha Skill Development Project will train new entrants and existing workers in priority sectors including manufacturing, construction, and services for formal employment to significantly reduce unemployment and underemployment rates in the state by 2025. The project will help provide more equitable access to skills development programs, improve the quality and relevance of skills development, strengthen the state’s skills environment through knowledge partnerships, and improve institutional capacity.

The total cost of the project is $162 million with the Government of Odisha contributing $60 million. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.


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