Technical and Vocational Assistance in Timor-Leste for Supporting Development
- Project Name: Mid-Level Skills Training Project
- Region/Country: Timor-Leste
- Sector and Themes: Education
- Year: 2012–2018
- Project Leaders: Ninebeth Carandang
People in Manatuto think that women can’t work in construction. But now men and women have the same rights to do the same things! I am looking forward to graduating from this course. I want to show my certificate to women from the districts, which will prove that women can do it too.
Timor-Leste is Asia’s youngest country. It has moved past the strife of recent years and is undertaking the difficult work of building a strong, resilient economy that benefits all. The development of a skilled workforce is much needed for Timor-Leste’s rapidly expanding economy.
ADB supported the development of a skilled workforce for Timor-Leste’s rapidly expanding economy. It used extensive regional experience in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to help the government reduce mid-level skills shortages. The Mid-Level Skills Training Project, approved in 2012, enhanced the capacities of the accredited construction and automotive training providers in the country, by introducing and implementing mid-level skills training in construction and automotive trades.
The project built on existing training programs and facilities. By filling skills gaps in the current system of TVET, the project supported the government to develop a skilled workforce and improve employment opportunities for men and women in Timor-Leste. The project ensured that at least one in five of the trainees is female, and encouraged female participation with scholarships, separate amenities, and gender awareness training.
Knowledge products and services
The project focused on key elements, such as development of competency-based training standards and improving the quality of teaching staff, facilitating the role of the private sector, and strengthening the labor market information system to build demand-driven skills training relevant and responsive to the needs of the expanding economy of Timor-Leste.
The project harmonized and built on the assistance provided by existing development partners in the TVET sector, including the Australian Agency for International Development, the International Labour Organization, the European Commission, the Government of Brazil, and the Spanish International Cooperation.
Impact and results
With 25% of trainees being female, the project exceeded its female participation target—and trained and facilitated employment for the country’s first female mechanics. By late 2015, the project had trained 47 teachers from 5 construction-training centers, with diploma programs in mechanical, civil, and engineering conducted by the State Polytechnic of Malang, Indonesia. All training was carried out in Timor-Leste instead of overseas. Construction of Tibar Dormitory was completed. The project supported seven training centers, and between 2012 and 2018, 2,445 people were trained, including 618 women. Mid-level trainees also received on-the-job practical skills provided through industry partnerships.
Lessons for Replication
The project highlights the hybrid model of classroom and on-the-job experience. Industry partnerships help in the delivery of on-the-job technical and practical skills through accredited training programs. It emphasizes the relevance of a labor market information system that supports demand-driven skills training. It showcases how harmonized efforts by building upon existing TVET programs delivered by the other development partners contribute to a project’s success.