Build4Skills: Technical and vocational education and training in Pakistan and Mongolia

Project description

Title: Global Project Build4Skills
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Financier: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Mongolia and Pakistan
Partners: Asian Development Bank (ADB), Siemens
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MLSP) (Mongolia), National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) (Pakistan)
Overall term: 2018 to 2021


In many partner countries of German development cooperation, the private sector so far had little, if any, involvement in shaping the framework conditions for vocational education and training. Curricula, standards of training and examination standards are almost always set by state actors, often without considering the needs of the labour market. Upon completing their training, many are therefore unprepared for the requirements of jobs that match their training profiles. They are often unfamiliar with the actual work context.

There is also a lack of valid data and information on trends and developments in the labour market and the vocational training system. This means that an important basis for steering technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and employment policies is lacking.

Infrastructure programmes offer great potential for work-based training and employment of the local population; however, this is not yet adequately utilised. International construction companies are often unable to find skilled workers on local labour markets and instead draw on their own staff from third countries.

Together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its national partners, Build4Skills is committed to strengthening the practical aspects of training: in Mongolia and Pakistan, trainees are deployed in ADB-funded infrastructure programmes and in-company trainers receive further training.


The prerequisites for using infrastructure programmes as a practical training location in the partner countries have been improved.

Launching Event B4S_Mongolei


Build4Skills works with established partners to sustainably improve vocational education and training:

  • The project has formed internationally established strategic partnerships with the Asian Development Bank and Siemens. 
  • These partnerships led to cooperation models through which valuable experience can be generated for German development cooperation.
  • Including TVET in infrastructure projects and public tendering processes is a novelty in development cooperation.

The project aims to integrate technical and vocational education and training as a standard in public invitations to tender for infrastructure projects over the long term. In Pakistan, this idea is being implemented in the scope of the Improved Workforce Readiness in Punjab Project, an ADB-funded TVET project of USD 100 million. 

Build4Skills is working with Siemens Pakistan to place female trainees with Siemens for short-term training, to revise teaching and learning materials in a gender-sensitive manner and to sensitise TVET teachers and in-company-instructors to gender issues. 

In Mongolia, Build4Skills, the ADB and the Mongolian Ministry of Labour and Social Security are committed to placing apprentices in construction companies, providing further training for in-company trainers and certifying informally acquired skills in a number of construction professions.

Animierter Charakter, Malerin Mongolei


  • Having established the strategic partnership with the ADB on specific cases in Mongolia and Pakistan is remarkable. A ‘roll-out‘ of the approach of integrating vocational education and training into ADB infrastructure projects is currently being discussed.
  • A staff secondment to the ADB in Manila, Philippines is making a major contribution to consolidating institutional relations.
  • In Pakistan, Build4Skills was able to make vocational training compulsory in selected tenders: only companies that guarantee to train during their engagement are entitled to participate in the tender.
  • In Mongolia, trainees have already been placed in construction companies, in-company trainers have received further training, informal skills have been certified and essential foundations have been laid for establishing a vocational training and labour market information system.
Advocacy Event B4S_Pakistan