A young graduate got his electrical engineering degree this year. He was jubilant over his successful completion of the four-year degree program.
However, one thing was irritating him. He was worried about where he should look for a job or an internship. He was thinking about where he could find an internship opportunity for the purpose of gaining practical experience of what he read in theories of over 42 modules in the entire course.
This is the story of almost every single graduate in any field. Thousands of university graduates roam offices in search of job opportunities every year.
The problem is that every organisation that offers job to fresh graduates requires experience of up to one year or more. To meet the eligibility criteria, fresh graduates look for internships — something all organisations prefer.
Unfortunately, Pakistan has lack of internship opportunities for fresh graduates. Internships are oxygen for any fresh graduate looking to enter the professional field. Internships allow them to experience the professional environment and become familiar with the practical application of what he/she learnt in theory.
There is no proper mechanism in various government and non-governmental organisations to induct fresh graduates to enable them to gain a little bit of experience in the field. The medical field, however, is far better than the rest. Every medical graduate is offered to complete their house job — a sort of internship — in various teaching hospitals and are provided stipends.
Irrespective of political issues, the recent internship program initiated by the PML-N government is a ray of hope, particularly for unemployed fresh graduates. The program inducts graduates in various government departments for a fixed period of time. The government also pays each intern Rs10,000. Such a program should always be encouraged. Provincial governments should also think it over and they could come up with other innovative ideas. The initiative can help government departments lower the burden and workload of their permanent employees.
Secondly, such initiatives would also help fresh graduates gain employment in various organisations. The experience in government-sector organisations is preferred over other non-governmental organisations.
Furthermore, the government could make it compulsory for every non-profit organisation to induct a specific number of paid internees in their outlets or companies so that their skills could be polished.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2016.