close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
November 26, 2020

Vocational skills development must for poverty alleviation

Islamabad

November 26, 2020

Islamabad : Any study of human development is incomplete without considering demographic transition, a phenomenon likely to have a profound impact on Pakistan’s future, given its young population.

According to a UNDP report of 2018, 64 per cent of the nation is younger than 30, and 29 per cent of Pakistanis are between 15 and 29. Pakistan now has more young people than it has ever had, and this has been predicted to continue to increase until at least 2050.

The development experts believe that the proportion of such youth bulge in the population can be an asset provided they are well-equipped with set of skills required in this modern era, to uplift social economic aspects. If it is otherwise, this overpopulation can be a liability.

Pakistan’s constitution promises free education to all school age children. Unfortunately, a staggering 9.45 million children are out of primary school. At the current annual net enrolment rate of 0.92 per cent, complete enrolment of schoolchildren cannot be achieved until 2076. To meet the goal by 2030, the annual net enrolment rate has to quadruple to 3.8 per cent.

However, even if every child goes to school, that does not mean they will get quality education. Such an education remains a luxury, which few can afford to pay for. The many challenges related to education include barriers for girls’ education, high drop-out rates, low levels of public investment, and insufficient number schools. Almost 4 million youth enter the working age population every year. If the current labour force participation rate and unemployment levels remain constant, 0.9 million new jobs are needed every year over the next five years. If we aim to improve labour force participation rates, an additional 1.3 million jobs must be created each year for the next five years.

Pakistan is one of the worst performers in terms of technical and vocational education and training –Technical & Vocational Education Training (TVET). It should use an effective development and implementation strategy for TVET to harness its young potential. Performing Economies such as Norway, Finland and Switzerland have transformed their economies by focusing on TVET. These countries lead the world in terms of technological advancement and workforce development. Pakistan should learn a lesson from these leading economies.

Therefore, it is being suggested that funds for TVET institutes and skill-development and training schemes in the federal and provincial budgets be enhanced. It should enact appropriate legislation to enable large, medium, and small industries to engage in the development of technical education. The participation of women in technical education should also be encouraged as they constitute 52 per cent of the population.

The TVET sector is significant for Balochistan to achieve socio-economic growth along with providing better employment opportunities among young population. Public-private partnerships are vital for supporting TVET institutes in the province.

A pilot project, Revitalising Youth Enterprise has just shown a pathway how the talent of young population could be channelized for the poverty reduction.

The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) provided technical supervision to the Revitalizing Youth Enterprise pilot project in Ziarat and Killa Saifullah districts (funded by the Citi Foundation). The project was implemented through the Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP) and the main focus was on vocational skill trainings to improve employability of youth. PPAF took lead in the development of standard operating procedure for the identification and selection of youth, PPAF played pivotal role in facilitation, support and backstopping, specialized monitoring team mentored each stage of the project. and provided hand holding to the implementing partners BRSP.

A comprehensive market assessment was conducted in order to identify the exact demand-oriented employment skills in the targeted districts. The outcome of the study made it possible to constitute the mapping of training institute and skill training content packages were developed for each trade.

Actions were taken and 300 youth (150 boys and 150 girls) aged 18-24 years were enrolled in Quetta, Karachi, Faisalabad, Ziarat and Killa Saifullah in nine trades. The results were staggering. In district Ziarat and Killa Saifullah, girls had very limited mobility and due to non-availability of technical and vocational training institutes in both the districts, most of the girls were unable to participate in the programme.

The RYE project suggests that good community mobilization and adoptability of local environment results in high-level participation of girls in the training. As girls in district Ziarat and Killa Saifullah are not allowed to stay out of home for vocational skill training as there is no vocational training institute available in both the districts, therefore high quality trainings were arranged inside the community. The study helped identify and constitute key policy recommendations for stakeholders to address the key problems that youth were facing and which had restricted them from achieving development and economic uplift.