United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Project Officer (Skills and Employment)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Description

One of the key development priorities in contemporary India is that of job creation as the population is growing younger. India’s working age population is going to increase by 115 million people in the next 10 years. While other countries grapple with ageing populations, India has a young population looking to enter the workforce, with an inherent potential to fuel growth. To make the most of this demographic dividend, India needs to address challenges in skilling and employability which, in turn, would make the youth capable of leveraging technology, thereby becoming an essential contributor to the growth trajectory.

As per the State of Working India Report of 2018 by Azim Premji University, there are about 23.3 million unemployed people in India. Moreover, about 16.5% of such unemployed persons belong to the age-group of 15-25. According to Indian Employability Survey conducted by the British Council, while about 39 per cent of the graduates from foreign universities are considered ready for jobs, only about 14 per cent students from Indian universities are considered suitable. Similarly, a survey of graduate students conducted by Aspiring Minds across the country reported that every year India produces 50 lakh graduates but more than half of them are not fit to be hired.

With a favourable demographic dividend, there is a need for investment in job creation along with enhancing the future employability skills amongst youth for improved employment. Interventions in this area is of greater focus, especially in the light of the Covid-19 situation, which has resulted in massive loss of jobs, reverse migration, widespread unemployment and economic distress to hundreds and thousands of people.

Further, India has seen progress towards greater gender equality in recent decades, but vast inequalities continue to persist. The United Nations Gender Inequality Index 2018 ranks India 130th out of 189 countries, with Indian women being especially subject to disadvantages that manifest from birth and continue throughout their lives. The female labour force participation rate (FLFPR) in India has also continued to decline over the past few decades— from 34.1% in 1990–00 to 27.2% in 2011–12 and further to 23.7% in 2017 (26.7% in rural areas and 16.2% in urban areas). The decline is most notable in rural areas where it has gone down from 49.7% in 2004–05 to 26.7% in 2015–16.8. The FLFPR in India is about one-third that of men. According to a World Bank report, in 2012, only 27% of adult Indian women had a job, or were actively looking for one, compared to 79% of men. In fact almost 20 million women had dropped out of the workforce between 2005 and 2012. The situation is further compounded by the COVID crisis which has impacted women’s access to the economy more severely than men, and women from marginalized sections are now having to face the loss of livelihood, disease and unpaid care work.

One of the ways of addressing this inequality is through harnessing economic power and opportunities. A focus on enabling women to participate in and benefit from economic growth can result in a woman having the ability to succeed economically, the agency to make and act on her own decisions, a choice on when and whether to marry and have children and the power to drive social,education and health improvements for herself and her family. Beyond the social case, there is a clear business case for gender parity in economic participation: according to McKinsey Global Institute(MGI), progress towards gender parity in economic participation could boost India’s GDP by $0.7 trillion (16%) by 2025. About 70% of the increase would come from raising India’s FLFPR by 10 percentage points.

Project Background

For the past five years, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has worked together with partners in Government, the private sector and civil society to test innovative approaches to support women’s economic empowerment. It is now launching a project to improve access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for 3000 women/ youth in selected districts of Madhya Pradesh. The project will also enable 1500 candidates to be trained in English language and other soft skills training at ITIs and facilitate access to jobs for 500 of them. Across the proposed target group, the interventions would work towards increased awareness, enhancing employability and business skills capacity, facilitation of linkages, mentorship support and nurturing the innovation potential of youth in rural and urban areas.

The project aims to catalyse the local employment marketplace ecosystem in the districts in which it operates. One of the planned measures is Youth Employability Services (YES) Centers, are aimed to bring together skills, training and an employment ecosystem in a hyper local geography. With a focus primarily on women and youth, the project interventions will equip them with skills that are essential for employability. The aim would be to create an end-to-end value chain that includes mobilisation of candidates, aspiration and skill Mapping, soft skill and mentorship training and facilitation of access to jobs at the end of the process. This intervention will also seek to build convergences with existing Government programmes and efforts in the regions. The project will also train Industrial Training Institute (ITI) students on the English language primarily with the help of classroom sessions as well as digital applications. It will partner with the state government of Madhya Pradesh and leverage the curriculum developed by the donor to train candidates in English language skills and place them in relevant job roles.

Duties and Responsibilities

  Under the guidance of Project Design and Partnership Officer, the Project Officer will have the responsibility for the following activities: 1. Project Implementation and Management

S/he would have the overall responsibility to implement the project on ground and achieve the intended goal and impact. S/he is expected to be competent to carry out the following tasks (not limited to) to achieve the project’s targets:
  • Preparation and review of detailed project implementation plan
  • Carry out the local skills ecosystem mapping
  • Identification of appropriate local partner/s, Technical Support agency/s, state government departments etc. and arranging their buy in to partner with the project and support its implementation.
  • Together with the partners’ support, achieve the following project targets:
a. Mobilization of youth and providing them with counselling to understand their interests and skills b. Career guidance, 21st century skills and delivery of employability skills training c. Strengthen industry linkages through guest lectures, exposure visits, roundtables, orientation workshops, career conclaves d. Forge partnership with 10 ITIs to integrate the donor’s already developed English language curriculum with the curriculum of the ITIs
  • Lead and coordinate the organization of meetings, workshops, conferences, training, study tours and related activities relevant to the implementation of the project.
2. Coordination with stakeholders and effective communication of results

  • Ensure close coordination and strong partnerships with all partners and stakeholders like ITIs,State Skill Department, local industries, other relevant government line departments at State,district and block levels, schools, colleges, Vocational Training Providers, etc.
  • Keep abreast of skill and job demand in the local industries, identifying crucial tie ups and partnering with local institutes, employers in organised and unorganised sectors to ensure they know about the project to enable matchmaking of candidates receiving skilling under the project with relevant local jobs.
  • Ensure high quality information and visibility of the project activities to the stakeholders.
3. Regular reporting to UNDP Country Office (CO) in New Delhi

  • Liaise with state team and country Office to coordinate project implementation strategies and progress.
  • Manage the financial resources of the project, including budgeting and budget revisions, as well as expenditure tracking and reporting.
4. Effective monitoring and communications of the project

  • Put in place a Results Based Monitoring System
a. Day-to-day coordination with the partner/s.

b. Weekly monitoring meetings with partner agency/s to monitor progress.

c. Preparation of monthly and quarterly reports and quality check of all reports submitted.

d. Preparation of baseline and continuous data capturing
  • Identify key performance indicators as well as develop and maintain a monitoring system to ensure effective information sharing
  • Ensure timely review meetings
  • Develop a well-coordinated and well-planned system of production of project progress and financial reports, plans of action and other documentation requirements of CO.
  • Ensure regular production of case studies, social media posts, photographs, short videos from the project


Project Management 

  • Ability to provide technical inputs on skill development to partner agency/s.
  • Ability to create and catalyse partnerships with multiple stakeholders.
  • Ability to deliver project outputs as per schedule consistently.
Results Orientation 

  • Ability to achieve objectives of the project in a time bound manner
Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture in the project
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development
  • Acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills in the project
Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to apply conceptual models in support of formulation,implementation, monitoring and evaluation of developmentprogrammes and projects
  • Good knowledge of Results-based Management
  • Strong IT skills
  • Ability to lead implementation of new systems (business side), and affect
  • Staff behavioural/attitudinal change
Management and Leadership

  • Ability to provide leadership to partner agency/s
  • Focuses on impact and results and responds positively to feedback
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructiveattitude
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills Remains calm, in control and good humoured even under pressure
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complex situations

Required Skills and Experience

Educational Qualifications: 


  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, preferably in Economics, Public Policy, Governance, or related disciplines.

  • Master’s degree in social sciences, preferably in Economics, Public Policy, Governance, or related disciplines with relevant professional qualifications and necessary knowledge to undertake the assignment.

  • Minimum 5 years of work experience in skill development and employment generation projects. Prior experience of working with international development agency/s and CSR projects in the domain of employment and entrepreneurship
Knowledge and Skills

  • Working knowledge and skills in IT (MS office) is a prerequisite for theassignment. Preference will be given to the candidate possessing high quality of professional excellence in result-based project management. Being part of a dynamic team, s/he must be able to perform effectively as a good team member and equally capable to undertake independent assignments.
  • Extensive knowledge of skill development projects in Madhya Pradesh as well as in India and other countries, skill development programs of the Govt. as well as a good network in the skilling ecosystem.
Language Requirements: Fluency in English and Hindi (mandatory) Remuneration package is INR 98,482 per month (taxable). UNDP also offers additional benefits which include medical insurance coverage and limited pension reimbursement for contract holder and encourages work life balance.


Important applicant information All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Scam warning The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.

Apply Now