The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a US$100 million loan for the Skills and Jobs Project in Kazakhstan to improve the employment outcomes and skills of the current workforce as well as the relevance of technical and vocational education and training and higher education programs.
“Education and acquiring relevant skills largely determine access to higher paid quality jobs,” said Ludmilla Butenko, World Bank Country Manager for Kazakhstan. “The new project aims to contribute to the national goal of diversifying the economy and increasing the productivity and earning capacity of the working age population. It builds on the experience of the Technical Vocational Education Modernization Project, and introduces significant innovations informed by international best practices.”
To improve productivity and employment, the Skills and Jobs Project will provide relevant training to unemployed, unproductively self-employed, and current employees in need of training. The project aims to improve the public employment services, and enhance the capacity of training centers and institutions to deliver skills development programs in line with market demand.
The project will help enhance the institutional capacity for improving the relevance of technical and vocational education, higher education, and workforce training. For this, the project aims to align the national qualifications system with labor market demands, focusing on occupational standards, educational standards and curricula, and qualifications assessment and certification. The improved qualifications system, in turn, is expected to improve the quality assurance and relevance of pre-employment education and training.
Increased access to relevant training for the working age population will yield economic benefits as unemployed and unproductively self-employed are expected to be more employable in the formal sector and earn higher wages; firms can increase profits with a more productive workforce in place. Overall, the improved labor market services will result in better job matching and shorter unemployment periods.
The implementation of the five-year project (2015-2020) will start after the country approval process is completed.
The Skills and Jobs Project will be financed through a variable-margin US$100 million IBRD loan, with a 19-year maturity period and a 5-year grace period, with US$37 million in co-financing from the Government of Kazakhstan.