‘Skilled manpower in high demand in global market’
ISLAMABAD – For the first time in Pakistan, the British Council on Monday held an International Conference on Employer Engagement and Entrepreneurship for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector for South Asia.
Held under the Skills for Employability programme, the conference focused on the benefits of employers’ engagement in the curriculum development and policy-making process in the TVET sector and how it can be encouraged, says a press release issued here.
The participants agreed that the engagement will result in enabling policy makers to develop demand-driven curriculum that will not only produce workforce with industry-need expertise and knowledge but will also pave ways to promote entrepreneurship amongst the young TVET graduates.
TVET experts from Pakistan, United Kingdom, Bangladesh and Nepal participated in the conference besides principals, teachers and students of TVET colleges from across Pakistan.
Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Federal Minister for Professional and Technical Training, was the chief guest at the conference. In his speech, he highlighted the role of TVET education for the development of a country’s economy particularly for a country like Pakistan.
There was an overall consensus in amongst the participants of the conference that there is always a consistent demand of skilled workforce from the developing world to the developed countries as well as within their own countries. But there was also a general agreement on the challenges that countries like Pakistan face to meet those demands. One of the major challenges that were highlighted in the conference was how to equip our manpower with the expertise and skills that are in demand in the global market.
The participants applauded the role of this conference that brought together all the stakeholders to discuss the issue within the TVET sector along with its challenges and demands. Many of the participants insisted that such conferences be held more often as they thought it was a great help for everyone, particularly for policy makers to devise effective policies keeping in view the needs and demands of all stakeholders.
Adam Thompson, the British High Commissioner in Pakistan was the guest of honour at the event and he talked about how TVET education in the UK is contributing to the economy by producing demand-driven workforce.
The conference also had an impressive exhibition setup by enterprising young students from the TVET colleges across Pakistan. There were separate panel discussions on Employer Engagement and Entrepreneurship, where experts from different countries discussed the importance of these two elements in TVET sector followed by a Q & A session by an enthusiastic audience.
The findings of the two sessions on Employer Engagement and Entrepreurship were shared with the participants in the concluding session of the Conference.
Salman Shehzad, Regional Manager for Skills for Employability programme concluded the Conference with his closing remarks. Salman said, “Having the treasure of approx. 65% youth population in Pakistan; TVET reforms can be instrumental in creating dynamic opportunities for young people which would certainly support the government’s agenda of engaging youth in skill development activities.”
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