HRD A NEGLECTED AREA IN PAKISTAN

KANWAL SALEEM
Apr 27 - May 10, 2009

Human resource development is a neglected area in Pakistan as in other developing countries. The economic growth in the country is hampered by the low quality of human resources, which couple with poor planning and management skills are making it difficult to implement large infrastructure projects in a systematic manner.

Human resource development in development of industry is of critical importance. It is also critical to improve productivity level. Pakistani seven workers are doing the same job that the one German worker and four Turk workers do.

The multinational companies and leading business houses in Pakistan after having realised the importance of human resources are paying attention on training of workforce to meet the economic challenges. Cellular service provider, Telenor Pakistan, has provided internship opportunities to 250 interns from 76 universities across the country during the current year. The interns were later passed out under the first of its kind, Telenor Pakistan's Ambassador Programme. "The company is offering several jobs. This year's induction process for internships is expected to start by May which will attract thousands of students from all over the country."

The company, as part of its ongoing Career Management Workshops (CMW) initiative, is also reaching out several universities across the country as so far, 20 universities have been visited in different regions benefiting over 3000 students. The CMW sessions are conducted by experienced professionals with the aim to guide students interested in taking up a career in any industry.

A senior official said, "At Telenor believes on the philosophy that as a socially responsible organization it must continue to contribute to the society even during tough economic times". The operator, as a pioneer, has designed a comprehensive training package, Career Management Workshop, which enables students to overcome the initial challenges while entering into the corporate sector. "We are reaching out to universities across Pakistan without the discretion of their ranking. We hope that maximum students will benefit from our humble effort," the official said.

The Career Management Workshop session includes a presentation by the university alumni working with Telenor, followed by a summary on the hiring process at the organization. The most important aspect of CMW is the Student Excellence Program (SEP) conducted by Telenor Pakistan's Manager Recruitment.

HRD IN HEALTH SECTOR

According to health professionals, Pakistan has huge potential in every sector and with proper training of available workforce the service delivery capacity of the health sector in the country could be enhanced significantly. They linked an efficient health sector with the development of human resource and sought the donors' assistance for training of nurses, midwives, paramedics and public health professionals.

They maintained that health care system in Pakistan has been confronted with problems of inequity, scarcity of resources, inefficient and untrained human resources, gender insensitivity and structural mismanagement.

According to a recent statement of the World Bank, Pakistan should focus on a range of critical development issues, including health, education, skill building and social mobilisation, as well as important infrastructure to underpin the future growth.

Pointing to the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) conference, the statement said that the international community had rallied to support Pakistan's economic program with more than $5 billion in funding designed to meet its immediate needs and protect expenditures on safety net and human development initiatives critical for poor people. The statement said, "Pakistan's economy started showing strong signs of overheating more than two years ago, and with additional food and fuel price shocks hit last year, policy responses were inadequate. The new government took robust stabilising measures and entered into an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Stand By Arrangement on November last year which remains on track."

"Pakistan has done well to protect the poorest 25 percent of its citizens," Isabel Guerrero, World Bank Vice President for South Asia, said in the statement. She said, "Social spending in areas like education and health has been shielded and what we have achieved in Tokyo is to raise that shield for the poor even higher with an additional $5 billion. In essence, under all the macroeconomic numbers, this meeting has been about to protecting the poor." The statement said that the FODP conference recognised the multiple challenges confronting Pakistan to ensure economic stabilisation.

"The donors' sideline evaluation of GoP's ongoing 9-point economic reforms agenda has lent credence to the scale of robust efforts Pakistan has undertaken in core economic areas like macro-economic stabilisation, social protection, agriculture reforms, industrial competitiveness, human resource development, integrated energy generation plan, capital market reforms, public-private partnership, and administrative reforms," the statement concluded.