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
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, vocational education and training tend to have little practical orientation and not meet the actual requirements in the workplace. Upon completing their training, many graduates are thus not prepared for the requirements of potential work areas that match their training profile. They are often not familiar with the actual work context or at most have experience from short term internships at companies. 

Therefore, companies often find they have to provide training to compensate for this, which involves making investments, undermines trust in the capabilities of state institutions for vocational education and training, and makes companies reluctant to hire young TVET graduates. Formal state certificates lose their value if the holders have only a tenuous grasp, or none at all, of the skills required to do the job. 

Furthermore, the private sector has only been involved sporadically, if at all, in designing the framework conditions for vocational education and training. Curricula, standards of training, and examination standards are defined almost exclusively by state actors, and are often not in line with the actual labour market needs. Companies are not systematically used and institutionalised as training centres for imparting practical skills. 
The funding of vocational education and training often is also the sole responsibility of the state.

In this context, population growth and rising rural-urban migration exacerbate urbanisation as a global megatrend and the urgency for sustainable urban development. In conflict regions, there is a growing need for the reconstruction of infrastructure and cultural heritage. This all equates with a high demand for skilled workers in the construction sector. Large-volume infrastructure measures in particular, often funded by regional development banks, offer great potential for work-based training 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, often from third countries.

This problem forms the context and starting point for the Build4Skills global programme.
The focus is on strengthening work-based training components in infrastructure measures. The programme aspires to use infrastructure programmes as learning platforms for trainees. Inspired by Germany’s dual system of vocational education and training and successful digital German development cooperation projects, the initiative is to centre on promoting practically relevant in-company learning.


The prerequisites for using infrastructure programmes as a practical training location have been improved.



Build4Skills is based on the vision of establishing technical and vocational education and training in the long term as a standard in public invitations to tender for infrastructure programmes. Knowing the complexity of such changes, the project first seeks dialogue with development banks and national stakeholders in order to analyse both the political commitment and the feasibility of the approach. In addition, the project examines and develops alternative models that are not binding or only binding to a limited extent. 

Build4Skills – what we stand for 

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Siemens are internationally-established strategic project partners. 
  • Their partnership results in cooperation models through which valuable experience can be generated for German DC.
  • Including TVET in public tendering processes is a novelty in development cooperation.


Another milestone in the cooperation relationship with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was a strategic workshop attended by representatives of the bank, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Build4Skills project in Manila in July 2018. The participants agreed on the contents and objectives of the project, the establishment of a steering committee and the development of implementation guidelines.