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March 22, 2015

Hunar Foundation working to create a ‘skilled Pakistan’


March 22, 2015

About 210 million people wake up every morning with no idea of how they will eat during the day in a country like Pakistan where 50 million of its population is between the ages of 17 and 35.
There is a grave dearth of proper utilisation of human resource in the country, in an era when many developed countries of the world also have serious shortages of youth and skilled labour.
“Our people lack skills despite having higher degrees which prevents them from working here and abroad. Along with doctors, engineers and accountants, the world is also looking for good plumbers, painters and technicians in large numbers.”
Chairman of The Hunar Foundation (THF), Aslam Khaliq, presented these views on Friday in an event held to familiarise potential supporters, volunteers, donors and media with work of the organisation.
He said THF was founded in 2010 with a vision to create a new cadre of skilled Pakistanis, with internationally-recognised technical qualifications that would create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for them, both here and abroad.
“We believe that a person with skills will never die hungry,” he said. “Our key object is to provide matriculation and state-of-the-art vocational training to boys and girls from less-privileged backgrounds, resulting in their economic empowerment and creation of a skilled Pakistan.”
One of the founding members of THF, Shahid Abdullah, said the organisation was not only an institution but a movement to give the country a young lot of skilled people who could play their part in its progress.
“Currently there are four THF institutes operational in Pakistan and the goal is to have 26 more in the next five years,” he said. “The courses we teach are certified by City & Guilds of UK and qualifying students receive C&G diplomas which are recognised in over 80 countries.”
He regretted that there were thousands of idle vocational centres in the country. Alongside

vocational training, he said, THF also imparted life skills, grooming lessons, English language and IT training for ensuring well-rounded education to its students.
“Over 1,000 students have been trained at THF so far. Deserving students can receive partial aid and are also given soft loan facilities to repay tuition fees,” Shahid said.
Answering a question, he said THF was also engaging with seminaries to provide students with an opportunity to graduate with at least one technical skill while studying in their own premises.
Calling upon the audience to help the good cause, he said THF was looking to have a healthy partnership with donors, volunteers, employers as well as goodwill ambassadors who could spread the word in the community and encouraged youth from less-privileged homes to learn skills and change their future.
Furqan Raza, a diploma holder of THF, while sharing his experience with the audience, said he came to know about the institute through Urdu Daily Jang. After completing his course at THF, he got a job in a multinational company with a good salary to support his family.

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