Islamabad: In Pakistan, nearly 32 percent of the total youth is illiterate, where 9.5 are unemployed and only 6 percent are equipped with technical skills. Due to these statistics the 32 percent of uneducated youth with no vocational and life skills, make a lot of individuals who are vulnerable to unemployed or inactive with females forming the majority.
Pakistan is currently facing a youth population with more than 100 million aged under 24. Youth is an asset of Pakistan, if it is converted into human resources and engine for economic development of Pakistan. But it can be a liability if their skills and knowledge are not developed.
These facts were revealed at a two-day workshop held to address the issue of training and skilling the youth and adults in Pakistan jointly organized by NAVTTC and UNESC.
The workshop aimed at identifying the challenges and formulates recommendations to make Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) accessible and attractive for youth.
“ Youth is available to us as a window of opportunity; if we want to turn this youth bulge into demographic dividend they are to be equipped with marketable skills, otherwise soon we will find these young people crowded in street, desperate and threatening to the peace of the country,” said Muhammad Mumtaz Akhtar Kahloon, Chairman NAVTEC.
Qamar Uz Zaman, Federal Secretary of Ministry of Professional and Technical Training congratulated UNESCO and NAVTTC along with participants and speakers of the event. “I hope this conference would result in giving us tangible road map in TVET and general education integral”.
Representative UNESCO Islamabad Dr. Kozue Kay Nagata stressed not to undermine the potential of young adults in Pakistan. “I can see the faces of youth, young women and men with their potential, and energy in this country. This indicates demographic trend of Pakistan. Pakistan has potential human resources, which is pre-requisite for sustainable and competitive nation’s economy. If we can find a way to train them with modern skills and knowledge, up to part to the fully fledged industrial countries, Pakistan’s future is very bright. Future Pakistan can entertain both big size of market and growing consumers – we need to train them”.
While talking to participants, Education Program Specialist UNESCO, Dr. Roshan Chitrakar pointed out the need to change the present image of TVET in Pakistan saying, “ we are right now in catch -22 situation; the image of Technical and Vocational training is still considered to be a second class education in this country as compared to formal education. Due to absence of right perception, young people are not motivated to join TVET, at the same time its crucial to establish linkages of TVET with current industry.”
The two day workshop will look into different models of TVET, challenges and issues of expenditure, accessibility, sustainable funding and indentify the causes of failure of TVET in Pakistan. Based on results drawn from the two-day workshop, the group of international and TVET experts will draw recommendations and framework for policy level reform for vocational training in Pakistan. Participants are major entrepreneurs, TVET Specialists, Vocational Educationists and international youth support reform experts.