MIAN RASHID ASGHAR
FAISALABAD: Punjab Skill Development Fund (PSDF) will launch a special vocational training program exclusively for Faisalabad from July this year, said Mr. Jawad Khan Chief Executive Officer PSDF.
Addressing the members of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he said that this program has been tailored especially for the Faisalabad based industry during which 5000 youth will be given training in need based sectors. He requested FCCI to identify these sectors in which skilled manpower is required so that the trained workforce could immediately be absorbed in the required industry. He told that he will visit Faisalabad during the month of June to sign a MoU with FCCI in this regard.
Continuing, Mr. Jawad told that the ultimate objective of PSDP is to provide vocational training in collaboration with industrial sector so that jobs could be ensured to the maximum trainees. He said that Chief Minister Punjab has assured to provide additional fund if any viable project is floated to accommodate the youth in positive and productive activities.
Underlining the industrial importance of Faisalabad, he said that it is his second visit to FCCI during last four months and he will continue to visit Faisalabad with a clear objective to provide trained manpower for the up gradation of existing industrial units in addition to helping them to switch over to the new and hi-tech technologies. He told that PSDP does not own any school or institute. “It has hired the services of industrial units and vocational training institutes to work with it on full or partial funding basis to provide training to the needy youth,” he said.
He told that 70 to 80 percent children have been enrolled at the primary level. “Their numbers trim to only 30 percent at the stage of 5th and 6th class”, he said and added that the maximum drop out is witnessed after matriculation as only 10 percent students get admission in the colleges. He said that the focus of the PSDP is to provide vocational training to the 90 percent dropped out girls and boys who fail to continue their education after matriculation. Jawad Khan claimed that fund has so far trained 250000 children while their number will jump to 4 Lac during next few years. He admitted that this number is very low as compared to the population explosion in Punjab province.
He told that PSDP is going to launch a project during which vocational training would be imparted to the regular students of 50 selected higher secondary schools of Punjab. Out of these 18 schools are from Lahore while remaining would be picked up from Faisalabad and Sialkot. He told that a survey was conducted in these selected schools which revealed that 90 percent students are quite unaware of vocational skills but they want to get it to get an immediate job. He further told that these students have expressed their willingness to join following 5 sectors, Including ICT, textile, automotive, electronics and hotel & restaurant.
Commenting about the establishment of car assembly plant in M-3 Industrial Estate, he said that it will provide jobs to hundreds of workers while its 200 to 250 vendors would also create thousands of new jobs opportunities. He said that another two assembling plants are also in the pipe line which will give a kick start to the economic activity in addition to creating thousands of new job opportunities. About women empowerment, he said that statistics reveal that only 22 percent women in Pakistan are directly participating in the economic activity. He said that we cannot achieve the growth rate of 5 to 6 percent without increasing the ratio of female up to 35 to 40 percent. He said that in this connection PSDP is also launching special vocational training program for the female populous. He also quoted CPEC and told that construction of new highways has opened a new mega sector of logistics and transport which needs hundreds and thousands of skilled workers.
Earlier in his address of welcome, senior vice president FCCI Sheikh Farooq Yusuf said that we have to equip our workforce with latest skills so that they could improve the quality of our exportable surplus.
During question answer session Dr. Habib Aslam Gaba, Quratul Ain, Sheikh Khalid Habib and Mirza Mohammad Afzal Mughal asked different questions. A documentary on PSDP was also screened for the awareness of the participants. Later, vice president Usman Rauf offered vote of thanks while executive member Mian Tanvir Ahmad presented FCCI shield to Mr. Jawad Khan. SVP Sheikh Farooq Yusuf also decorated Mr. Jawad Khan with FCCI honorary Shield.