Inter-Provincial Ministerial Conference Forum established for collective efforts towards TVET uplift
—National level consensus evolved on’ Skills for All” strategy
In order to identify multitude of challenges pervading TVET sector in Pakistan and to devise a roadmap to address the systemic issues, the federal government constituted a taskforce, representing all stakeholders in the sector. In this regard, for a more inclusive implementation strategy for the Task force recommendations, the first TVET related Inter-provincial Ministerial Conference was held today at Islamabad under the auspices of National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC). Minister for federal Education Shafqat Mahmood while addressing the conference said “Skill Development is at the forefront of our government’s agenda and reforms are underway to bring education and vocational training system in sync with labor market requirements”. “I believe Education & Skill Development are beyond politics and we must all put our efforts collectively in the national interest to promote skill development and empower our young people” the Minister said. We are focusing on introducing skills at school level so that matriculated students come out with some marketable skills. “We are working in close collaboration with overseas ministry, chambers of industries, private sector and the key stakeholders to identify the skills as required in the domestic market and overseas” he added. The government will soon establish the first National Skill University at Islamabad and will set up 5 Centers of Excellence, one in each province. He emphasized on working in close collaboration with provincial governments including AJK and Gilgit Baltistan so that a uniform TVET system is launched across the country. He thanked the participants for their contribution in addressing the systemic issues being faced by the skill sector and showed resolve to further the efforts for skilling the youth.
Special Assistant to PM Youth Affairs Usman Dar said the present government is focused on revamping the TVET sector and is committed to support and empower our young people. “We are soon going to launch National Youth Development Framework that will help in synchronizing training with job placement”, he said. Moreover, we are working on a National Employment Exchange Portal which is being developed by NAVTTC that will facilitate youth in matching skills with the demand of labor market, he added. He appreciated the efforts of NAVTTC for working hard to overcome shortcomings of skill sector. “With the help of NAVTTC, we are focusing on enhancing innovation driven entrepreneurship skills of youth and promote blue collared and white collared jobs” Dar said.
The Conference was attended by the ministers from Punjab, Sindh, KP & FATA, Balochistan, AJK, ambassadors of European Union, Turkey, Germany, Norway, and representatives from China, USAID, UNDP, Scotland & British Council, GIZ, ADB, TIKA, JICA, and all provincial TEVTAs. They welcomed the initiative of the education ministry and NAVTTC for arranging inter-provincial meeting and appreciated the attention being given to the TVET sector by putting collective efforts, both at federal and provincial level, to address TVET sector challenges. The participants gave valuable suggestions and recommendations to uplift the skill sector.
Chairman NAVTTC, Syed Javed Hassan said skill development is critically important to provide employment opportunities to the youth and increase foreign remittances. Right now our capacity is limited to skilling only 400,000 people in the formal sector but that needs to be increased considerably as well as enhancing the quality of training, he said.
The Executive Director NAVTTC, Dr. Nasir Khan, gave a detailed presentation on eight major areas of intervention including cleansing governance structure from fragmentation, increasing capacity of TVET system, improving quality, ensuring meaningful involvement of industry, delivering equal access (Skills for all), producing skilled labor workforce to meet international job requirements, and building a positive image of TVET to attract more youth towards skill sector.
Federal Minister for education concluded the meeting and said all suggestions put forward by the participants would be incorporated into TVET roadmap called ‘Skills for All” strategy. The conference agreed to establish “Inter-provincial TVET Ministers conference” as a permanent forum to evolve consensus on TVET related issues at the national level. The participants of the conference also agreed to adapt the “Skills for All” strategy as a national strategy document for development of TVET sector in the country.