Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ILO to provide training to Pakistani youth

Ministry of Youth Affairs (MoYA) has signed a memorandum of understating (MoU) with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) under which the UN agency will provide international standard training to Pakistani youth in order to equip them with skills needed in the global market, said Federal Minister for Youth Affairs Shahid Hussain Bhutto on Tuesday. 

He was talking to mediapersons at Meet the Press event organised by the National Press Club. The minister said that the UN agency will provide $10 million grant to launch the project. He said that the programme is aimed at reducing the unemployment rate in the country and provide respectable source of income to young population. “The project will prepare a ready source of skilled persons.” Under this project, he said that the ministry will collaborate with the Pakistani embassies across the world and will collect data about the skills needed in different countries. “The training will be designed according to that data,” he said. 

Citing one example from the past, he said that not long ago, the Malaysian government demanded 80,000 nurses from Pakistani government, but the offer was declined because there was no ready source of internationally trained medical staff. He said that opportunities are unlimited, but there is a need to tap them in proper way at the proper time. 

Talking about some other projects, he said that the ministry has signed plan of action with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to establish Youth Activity Centres. These centres will offer facilities needed to engage youth in positive activities. “In the first phase, these centres will be established at Tehsil level and after that the project will be extended to district level,” he added. 

He further said that unemployment is the biggest challenge faced by the youth as annually around 0.8 million boys and girls graduate from colleges and universities and among them, only 0.1 million succeed in getting a job. “The remaining 0.7 million add to ever increasing number of unemployed youth in the country that is leading towards a dangerous situation.” 

Bhutto said that because of the same reason, addressing the issue of unemployment in the best possible way is the biggest priority of the ministry. “It is vital to promote entrepreneurship among youth and equip them with skills needed in international market as such big number of unemployed youth can not be adjusted in public or private sector alone.” 

He said that the ministry also plans to organise job festival in the capital in near future. He said that many other international donor organisations such as World Bank and USAID have shown interest in initiating youth related projects under MoYA umbrella. “In addition to providing assistance in preparing National Volunteerism Policy, the British Council has agreed to conduct English coaching classes in the upcoming Youth Activity Centres.” 

To ensure sustainability of these projects, Bhutto said that the ministry will involve all stakeholders in the process. “To guarantee no change in the projects with change in the government, the ministry will have nominal role in implementation of these projects and will focus more on monitoring and policy making side,” he added. 

Highlighting the ministry’s achievements with regard to National Internship Programme (NIP), Bhutto said that around 56,000 youth has been adjusted in NIP since it re launch in April last year. “Within next week, 10,000 more will be deputed in different public sector departments at provincial and federal level,” he pointed out. 

The federal minister said that at this time, Pakistan has youth exchange programmes only with two countries that are South Korea and China. “To extend this activity, the ministry is in the process of developing same links with other countries including Turkey, Tunis and United Kingdom.” 

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