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February 24, 2018

Sector skills councils launched to create employment

Islamabad

February 24, 2018

Islamabad: The leading trade and business associations within hospitality and construction sector and the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) on Thursday launched the sector skills councils (SSCs) to train and produce the skilled workforce as demanded by the two key economic players in Pakistan.

The ceremony was held by the NAVTTC at a local hotel, where representatives of the textile, renewable energy and agriculture sectors were present. Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz said an interest of the private sector in the demand-driven training, as well as demand analysis of workforce, would assist greatly in the development of skilled workforce as per the need of their our industry.

He appreciated the structured approach of engaging private sector for the development of skilled workforce in Pakistan and for reducing the gap between industry and academia. Mr Aziz said the Sector Skills Councils could play a vital role in promoting TVET sector of Pakistan, equally benefitting the industry and government.

He said unemployment was a serious issue for the country and the only solution to the problem was to engage the youths in getting skills so that they were able to support their families. NAVTTC Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema said the establishment of the councils would help bridge the gap between the public and private sectors for the policy alignment as well as producing qualified workforce.

"Our future is associated with the promotion of TVET sector. If it becomes the priority of government, industry and media, all of our problems may be solved. This sector has the capacity to change destiny of our nation," he stressed.

Mr Cheema said if the government introduced a special package for TVET sector, it would increase our economy. He said the Sector Skills Councils were being promoted as one initiative to support the reform of technical and vocational education and training in Pakistan.

"These councils are intended to be a mechanism to secure the greater involvement of employers in the design and implementation of publicly-funded training and to increase the quality and scale of training," he said adding that the initiative is supported by the TVET Sector Support Programme, which is funded by the European Union and governments of Germany and Norway.

He said the establishment of SSCs in textile, renewable energy and agriculture sector is also under consideration by NAVTTC to promote the public-private partnership. Aisha Khan, president of the Hospitality Sector Skills Council, declared the establishment of Sector Scheduled Councils as a historic moment, saying it would further strengthen Pakistan's TVET sector.

She said that new trends in view of market demand would be reviewed and soon the tourism sector would also be included in the Hospitality Sector Skills Council. Shahid Rafique, president of the Construction Sector Skills Council, said he would also provide on-job training to the graduates of the NAVTTC, which would help them secure jobs in the CPEC projects.

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