Empowerment: ‘Give job to youth to save them from extremism’

NAVTTC head pushes for broad skill training, to launch competency programme

Our Correspondent January 25, 2016
NAVTTC head pushes for broad skill training, to launch competency programme. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The best way to prevent frustrated and jobless youth falling prey to the hands of terrorists is to impart them with vocational and technical training for blue-collar jobs.

Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema, executive director of the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), termed the 55 per cent of the educated and hardworking youth of the country a “double-edged weapon”.

Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, he said the youth needs to be trained for employability, as that this is essential for the economic and social development of the nation. He said the reason Western nations have progressed is because their youth is trained in skills, and not just educated.

“Nations admit that Pakistan’s youth has immense potential. It is unfortunate that a majority of our youth is jobless despite being educated. These degrees are of no use to them if they cannot be employed,” he said.

He further mentioned that as a nation, it is our responsibility to find a solution to this problem.

“Educating the youth is not the only solution, we need to make our youth skilful by providing them technical and vocational training in order to equip them with the qualities that make them employable,” he said, adding that, “Europe and other successful nations have realised this and provided such training”. He added that this step provided Europe with skilled manpower, increased productivity and growth in their industrial sector and a rise in economic development.

Cheema stressed that technical and vocational training is important because it is the only way to overcome unemployment and to reduce poverty. He said that there is a need to train the youth for skills that are employable and marketable as a youth that has such skills is more precious than resources like oil and gold.

“Investors in the international market admit that Pakistani labourers are very talented, but get half or one-fourth of the remuneration [paid to] labour from Sri Lanka or other nations, because they lack in certain skills,” he said.

Regarding the way forward, he said NAVTTC is holding ‘skill competitions’ that will be concluded at job fairs, to be held in all provincial capitals and in Islamabad in the months of February and March. He said the idea is to gather industrialists, trainees, trainers, employers, parents and students of schools and colleges in order to ensure everyone benefits from the event.

Cheema also said that the Pakistan China Economic Corridor will open doors for employment opportunities where skilled youth will have better chances to use their skills to secure jobs.

“NAVTTC is establishing skill counselling desks and job placement centres across Pakistan for the guidance of youth”, he said while also mentioning that in order to promote skilled labour, the National Training Bureau is being upgraded to meet international standards.

During the briefing, it was announced that a competency based training program has been launched in 97 institutes across Pakistan where 20,000 pass outs are expected.

It was also mentioned that National Skill Information System has also made functional in NAVTTC besides training of 85,000 teachers in pedagogical skills.

He said skills could be enhanced in various trades including plumbing, Auto-Cad, information technology, welding, tailoring, cooking, baking and fashion designing.

“We are in contact with foreign ambassadors to get information about the market demand of their countries,” he added.

He said that NAVTTC would follow Germany and Sri Lanka as role models in professional training education. He added that NAVTTC is also ready to train professionals in the field of agriculture.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th,  2016.


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