PAKISTAN'S HUMAN RESOURCE CAPITAL IS YET TO BE EXPLOITED

KANWAL SALEEM
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Nov 12 - 18, 2012

Pakistan is among those a few countries in the world which have abundance human resource capital, as around 60-per cent of our population is between 16 and 24 years of age.

If this human resource is a blessing it could become a major disaster, if job-creation continues to lag behind. As long as a major portion of our youth is on the streets, it will become a tool for anarchy due to class resentment. The public and private sectors can not absorb the influx of such a huge number of people. The graduates need to learn more about the innovation process. Regulations for business schools also need to be put in place, because they have their degrees but often lack the basic understanding of concepts. Business schools need to instill the spirit of entrepreneurship among students and also build linkages with the industry.

Therefore, key challenge for Pakistan is the availability of adequately qualified and skilled human resources in infrastructure sector, which are essential for sustained growth and development of the capacity of construction industry to undertake large volumes of work with acceptable standards of quality workmanship.

Experts of human resource believe that a detailed and comprehensive program of education and training will be necessary in consultation with the stakeholders. Lack of trained manpower in Pakistan has been the result of years of neglect. This opportunity should be cashed with a sense of urgency and immediacy.

Non-professional managers and insufficiently qualified technical personnel are posing challenges. Apart from technical weaknesses they also lack skills for risk management, marketing, financial control, work organisation and quality control.

The most viable option is to increase enrollment of students in higher education and technical and vocations institutes leading to professional, vocational and administrative careers and at the same time, arresting and reversing the brain drain by providing better employment opportunities, increasing local salaries and benefits.

To provide an incentive for learning, one option could be to link the promotion of civil servant technocrats to the next higher grade with the completion of prescribed technical continuing education and project management courses and public expenditure management training.

On the other hand, recognition of employee efforts has a major impact on productivity. Some people are more responsive to monetary appreciation, while some are looking out for more learning opportunities and training programmes. Certain baseline employees will always be interested in more money and recognition in front of their peers. One need to have a baseline first, a foundation that has the right compensation structures, the right type of reward & recognition programmes. Productivity of employees is the core area all our HR programmes.

In the country's corporate sector, human resource is progressing very fast. More and more companies are now relying on HR managers to manage their human assets and their issues. More people are coming in the field. Institutes have also emerged from no where teaching different HR courses.

Everyone has his own concept of Human Resource Management. At one place the top management used to forward every problem to HR whether it had a link with HR or not. Production is not up to the mark, problem comes to HR. Security cameras not working, and problem comes to HR. It was difficult to convince the people at the top that these problems were out of the scope of HR. At one place employees used to disregard HR and at first looked liked it would be impossible to create the HR department over there. In the absence of HR department, its responsibilities are shared by other departments. There is a need to increase awareness among employees in other departments, top people, owners and directors regarding HR.

Experts are of the view that the government needs to devise a plan to uproot unemployment by providing technical training to 40 million youth. The country needs to be backed up by the necessary human resources capable of exploiting the potential for boosting growth and development. However, the country is missing out on the benefits of innovation because we lack the scientific resources and capacities to produce qualified professionals to develop, maintain and use new technologies.

In the present world the concept of wealth has been shifted from physical to the human capital. The human beings are seen as a resource rather than a liability. Trained and developed people contribute to the economic growth of one country.

On the other hand, the countries with undeveloped and under utilized human resource perish. Pakistan is a country with sixth largest population of the world. Unfortunately, the underdevelopment of the economy has negative impact over the investment of the human capital. The economic condition of Pakistan is going down day by day. In such a critical situation we need to come out with some suitable outcome. One of them may be the training and development of the human capital of the country.

The quality of human resource plays a critical role in the rise and fall of nations, and human resource can be developed with the help of education. A nation's overall position and it's standing in the world community, to a large extent, is determined by the standards of its educational system.

The vocational education is, however, has an advantage of absorbing specific job-relevant skills that can make the worker more readily suitable for a given job and would make him thus more productive. Therefore both are imperative. The education systems in many countries therefore include both general and vocational streams of education in varying proportions.

Human resource development is must to achieve the goal of progress and prosperity for ensuring bright future of coming generations.