A number of public and private sector organizations displayed their contribution towards promoting the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and its ongoing reforms in Pakistan at a local hotel in Islamabad.
The event showcasing TVET reforms in Pakistan-featured the participation of number of diplomats, senior government officials, employers and representative of various donor agencies and the TVET agencies as well as a large number of young people, enrolled in various TVET programmes across Pakistan.
The Executive Director NAVTTC Mr. Zulfiqar Ahmed Cheema inaugurated the event. While ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan Mr. Jean-Francois Cautain, ambassador of republic of Germany Ms. Ina Lepel, ambassador of Kingdom of the Netherlands Mrs. Jeannette Seppen and ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway Mr. Tore Nedrebo were the guests of honour.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Cheema highlighted the importance of TVET, he said ours is a polarized society, there is a consensus that population growth is an unavoidable reality, 65% of population is comprised of 18-35 years of age, if they are unemployed where they would go…? It will lead to frustration and subversive activities among youth. He said TVET sector was ignored for more than 50 years. Equipping the youth with employable skills is only solution to alleviate poverty and unemployment in Pakistan. He said government is committed to utilize all its resources to reform the TVET sector. He further said that TVET sector if properly focused can change the destiny of this country. He appreciated the efforts of GIZ, European Union, partner countries and donor agencies for their commitment in reforming TVET sector and helping Pakistan to produce skilled workforce.
Ambassador of Republic of Germany, Ms. Ina Lepel in her speech said TVET Reform Support Programme commenced in 2011 has achieved a lot but more to be achieved yet. She said skilled workforces play a vital role in economic development and considered to be the backbone of any country. She said I would encourage the youth to follow the path of TVET programmes, blue color jobs of demanding all over the world. She stressed the business community to play its role as a major stakeholder; it is inevitable to focus on quality than quantity said the ambassador. She acknowledged the contribution of EU, partner countries and donors for completing the first phase of TVET with remarkable results. She said we continue our inputs for a better Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, ambassador of Kingdom of the Netherlands Mrs. Jeannette Seppen said we are happy to see Pakistan on the successful journey of TVET Reform Support Programme. She said the initiative to produce skilled labor is commendable and it will help the youth to hunt jobs. She said we should turn the challenges into opportunity through quality education and TVET programmes. She said vocational training is very crucial, which cannot be ignore and the business community of Pakistan should welcome the trained human-capital.
Addressing the participant, ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway Mr. Tore Nedrebo said TVET is a landmark programme, which builds the capacity of institutions and produce skilled labor of international standards. He said Norway has special focus on empowerment of women because the share of female participation in the economy of Pakistan is hardly 24%.
Speaking on the occasion, ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan Mr. Jean-Francois Cautain said EU has a reasonable share of funding for TVET initiatives. He emphasized the youth to get benefit from CPEC, which brings billions of dollars and there will be demand of skilled labor not PhDs. He said EU has given Pakistan the status of GSP+, which opens up new avenues of trade and commerce. He said today 25million children in Pakistan are out of school, if they are enrolled into schooling and given vocational training, the fate of this country may change.
Addressing the participants, Country Director GIZ Pakistan, Dr. Julie Reviere said it is the commitment of the professional team of TVET, which brought success and we are hopeful for much higher results in the 2nd phase of TVET. The role of Government of Pakistan, NAVTTC, EU, partner countries, donor agencies, communities and youth of Pakistan is praiseworthy.
The event was supported by the TVET Reform Support Programme, a five year initiative launched in 2011 to support the Government of Pakistan in improving access, relevance, equity and quality of the TVET sector. The programme is funded by European Union and the governments of the Netherlands, Germany and Norway. The programme is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in close with the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC).
The first phase of the ongoing TVET sector reform is coming to an end in December 2016, while the second phase will commence from Jan. 2017 onwards for another five years.
During the first phase the NAVTTC, which is spearheading the reform in partnership with various TVET sector organizations at federal and provincial levels, has achieved a number of milestones, set under the National Skill Strategy (NSS). The NSS provides basis for the TVET sector reform in Pakistan.
The launching of the first ever TVET policy, the National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF), Competency Based Training (CBT) programme in 130 institutes, Cooperative Vocational Training (CVT) in Lahore and Karachi, system with data base of over 5000,000 skilled workers and 55000 employers, setting up 102 vocational counseling centers and training of 8,500 TVET teachers across Pakistan are some of the key achievements made during the current phase of the reform programme.
The event also featured a small exhibition, where a number of organizations both from public and private sectors displayed the success stories as well as quality training courses, which they are offering the youth.