Skills development programme: ‘Vocational education vital to generate employment’

NAVTTC chief says enrolment to be doubled in next phase

Our Correspondent January 06, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The government will provide technical and vocational training to 50,000 youth under phase three of the Prime Minister’s Youth Skills Development Programme starting in March.

“This number will be increased to 100,000 in phase four,” said National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema on Tuesday. Currently, in phase two, 25,000 youth are enrolled.

Cheema was talking to The Express Tribune about the commission’s skills development programmes at NAVTTC office on Tuesday.

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He said that last year they approved introduction of 59 short-term skills development projects with emphasis on under-developed areas of the country.

“The technical and vocational sector in Pakistan was ignored for long. The government is now focusing to improve it to cater to not only the national but international market,” Cheema said.

He said that the commission was focusing on marketable skills that were in demand at home and abroad.

Cheema said that equipping the youth with technical and vocational skills would also help in curbing extremism and terrorism in the country.

“The employability percentage in public sector cannot cater to the high number of graduates in the country,” he said, adding Europe also controlled the influx of graduates with introduction of technical education.

The official said that unemployment was one of the major challenges facing the country.

He said that the current monthly remuneration of Rs2,500 for each student would be increased to Rs3,000 soon.

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The executive director said that they were working to update the courses, curriculum and training methodologies to meet demands of the national and international markets.

Cheema said that the commission would recommend to the government to set up a technical training institute in every administrative division.

The executive director added that NAVTTC had recently signed agreements with internationally-recognised vocational education institutes like City and Guilds and Skill International to share expertise and resources in terms of competency standards and curricula.

“I am quite sure that this sector can bring about a revolution in the country by employing huge chunk of youth and increasing remittances for the country as well,” he said.

NAVTTC is an apex body at national level to regulate, facilitate and provide policy direction in vocational and technical training. The commission is establishing and promoting linkages among various stakeholders at national and international level.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2016.


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