LAHORE: The goal of making of the country prosperous cannot be achieved without youth empowerment, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Tuesday.
He was talking to a delegation of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Youth Wing office bearers in London.
“The government has allocated billions of rupees in for its 2015-16 budget under various programmes for youth empowerment. Various marketable skills are to be imparted to two million young people in the next three years. Another project has been started to provide technical training to youth to enable them to get jobs in the country and abroad. Thousands of young people have been imparted technical training under the Skills Development Programme. The scope of the programme is being extended to all districts of the province,” he said.
The CM said skilled manpower played a key role in the strengthening of economy. “Therefore, special attention is being paid to produce a skilled workforce,” he said.
The chief minister said that the PML-N government was implementing a revolutionary programme in the light of its manifesto for the welfare of youth. “Hundreds of thousands of job opportunities are being created for unemployed youth. The government is providing 50,000 vehicles for the youth under the Self-Employment Scheme at a cost of Rs31 billion,” he said.
He said that the government was focusing on youth empowerment programmes in the current budget.
“Rs5.5 billion has been allocated for the laptop scheme for outstanding students. The Punjab government has already distributed laptops worth billions of rupees purely on merit among the youth. This is helping them access modern knowledge,” he said. The CM said Rs2 billion had been allocated for the Youth Internship Programme. “Rs2 billion has been reserved for the Self-Employment Scheme. Pakistan is fortunate as more than 60 per cent of its population comprises youth. An effective strategy has been adopted for their empowerment,” he said.
The chief minister said that empowerment of youth and provision of jobs to them was an important element of the growth strategy of the Punjab government. “More than 100,000 talented children are getting education through the biggest educational fund in the country’s history although their parents could not afford to finance their education. A large number of poor but talented boys and girls are studying in prestigious educational institutions with the help of the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund,” he said.
He said the government had taken effective measures for the promotion of vocational education.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2015.