KARACHI: A large number of young people graduating from educational institutions are not employable, Indus Motor Company CEO Parvez Ghias said while addressing the ‘Corporate Philanthropy Summit’ on Wednesday.
“It is easy to acquire technology, but difficult to find trained human resources,” Ghias said while emphasizing the importance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in economic growth.
Organised by the Institute for Advancing Careers and Talents (iACT), the theme of the summit was “Missing in action: corporate support for skill development.”
Noting that TVET institutions should design their curricula as per the needs of the industry, Ghias said the involvement of the private sector is imperative for skill development.
As many as 65% of the Pakistani population is categorised as young, but it lacks technical skills. Approximately two million young people enter the job market every year, but only 1.3% of them have vocational training – a statistic that reflects the gap between their skillset and market demand.
iACT is a non-profit career development centre, backed by Habib University Foundation and the local government, offering subsidized skills-based education on a public-private partnership basis.
Speaking on the occasion, US Consul General Brian Heath said Pakistan’s business community cares deeply about the future of the country.
Saying that corporations should promote vocational training, Heath noted only they know best what kind of skills they need in their employees.
According to Habib University President Wasif A Rizvi, low productivity and inadequate skillsets among workers are reflective of a dysfunctional system.
Quoting US-based radical intellectual Noam Chomsky, Rizvi said the presence of unemployed people eagerly looking for jobs despite plenty of available work and resources is indicative of a system that is not working in their favour.
Saad Amanullah, former CEO of Gillette Pakistan, said the government must improve the regulatory environment to promote entrepreneurship and job creation.
He said the private sector can set up a few model TVET institutions, but the government must get its act together and try to address the issue of skill development in right earnest.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2016.