Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra announced at the National Skills Show that the Government of Pakistan would push a new emphasis on skills training for their youth. Through this initiative, they hope to boost future development in Pakistan.
Governor Jhagra asked industrialists to start training youth in vocational and technical skills, establishing institutes that will offer these programs. He noted that reducing unemployment and poverty rates greatly helps youth to succeed.
The National Skills Show, organized by the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTCC), takes place in the U.K. annually. It features five sectors: engineering and technology, media and creative, IT and enterprise, hospitality and lifestyle as well as construction and infrastructure. The best and the brightest students of the U.K. come together to compete and demonstrate their skills in one of these sectors.
Governor Jhagra stressed that Pakistan has an agricultural economy, highlighting the importance of focusing on skills training within the industry. In addition, technical education is extremely important for keeping the unemployment rates low.
As of 2015, Pakistan holds an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent, a slight decrease from six percent the previous year. But in 2013, the World Bank noted that 29.5 percent of the nearly 190 million people living in Pakistan resided below the poverty line.
Executive Director of NAVTTC, Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema, noted that 50,000 youth in Pakistan will take part in skills training in multiple trades. The courses that they engage in will be free of charge, and they will receive a stipend as trainees.
Governor Jhagra is determined to fully utilize the capabilities of the talented Pakistani youth population. He stated, “Our human capital is our biggest asset.” Currently, young citizens make up 60 percent of the population.
Ambassadors from Germany, the Netherlands and the European Union joined the show and congratulated the winners. They agreed with Pakistani officials in recognizing how skills training can boost the economy and decrease poverty.
This effort will provide a large majority of the Pakistani youth with employable skills, granting them financial independence, reducing the poverty rate throughout the country and helping meet the needs of local and international job markets—ultimately, improving development in Pakistan.
– Kimber Kraus