Speakers at a seminar on Friday said promotion of self employment among the youth was the most effective way to overcome joblessness.
The seminar on Youth and Social Entrepreneurship was arranged jointly by Institute of Agriculture Extension and Rural Development, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, and Youth Engagement Services Networks’ (YES) Pakistan Chapter.
UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Iqrar Ahmed Khan said every year nearly 1.5 million students were graduating from universities and colleges in the country and entering the already saturated labour market. He said self employment schemes should be promoted to accommodate the youth.
He said the youth should dare to take initiatives and put their ideas to work on their own instead of relying solely on the market for jobs.
He said people aged 25 and below were now 60 per cent of the country’s population. “The best way to ensure a prosperous future for the country is to ensure that these youth are equipped with skills that can allow them to become self employed,” he said.
Faculty of Social Sciences Dean Prof Iqbal Zafar urged the students to read up the lives of successful entrepreneurs. He said most of these had started their careers with modest means. “Their success was based on innovative ideas and not a lot of money,” he said.
Youth Engagement Services Network (YESN) Chief Executive Ali Raza Khan said his organisation was working with youth in poor segments of the society. He said it was supporting them, technically and financially, in becoming self sufficient.
“We promote social enterprise projects that involve whole communities,” he said.
Khan referred to Singapore’s example and said community service should be made a requirement for graduation in Pakistan. “University students in Singapore are required to work in their communities to become eligible for the award of a degree,” he said.
He said the organisation was also working to spread awareness about social entrepreneurship.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2012.