ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT SKILLED WORK FORCE

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Dec 27, 2010 - Jan 2, 20
11

Saeed Ahmad Alvi is the Chairman of Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA). He shared his vision and ideas about trained work force in an interview with Pakistan and Gulf Economist. He said TEVTA, on the directions of Chief Minister Punjab, has started finalising the plans to train 0.5 million youth annually in different demand driven trades.

Following is detail of the interview:

Q. WHAT IS YOUR VISION ABOUT ROLE OF TEVTA IN THE PROMOTION OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION?

A. Currently, TEVTA is imparting technical education and vocational training to more than 0.125 million youth annually under various disciplines. TEVTA, on the directions of Chief Minister Punjab, has started finalizing the plans to train 0.5 million youth annually in different demand driven trades. In this regard, a number of new initiatives are being introduced shortly to initiate market oriented skill training programmes throughout the province of the Punjab. National economic development is not possible without skilled work force. That is the reason we are striving hard. It would not only facilitate helpless educated individuals to earn their livelihood but eradicate poverty and bring prosperity in the society. All these efforts would be done by efficiently utilizing already available facilities at existing TEVTA institutions across the province. Keeping in view the market trends, amendments are also being made in the various TEVTA disciplines/courses to meet the growing demand of industry locally and globally. In this way, we are planning to bring positive results without burdening the public kitty. TEVTA has capacity to produce desired results with better organization and motivation.

Q. WHAT WOULD BE THE FOCUS OF THE AUTHORITY?

A. Initially, focus would be on agro-technology support courses for farmers to enable them for mechanized farming for enhanced per acre yield at lowest possible input cost. TEVTA will also make necessary arrangements to offer courses in livestock sector. These courses will be helpful for livestock, dairy farm management, and increase in output and more income for rural area population. These training courses will be offered with the active participation of private sector, leading firms and multinational companies, operating in the said industry. Being pioneer to organize TVET system in Pakistan, TEVTA with the consultation of district boards of management across the province of the Punjab, will also offer new demand driven courses to all walks of life.

Q. WOULD YOU THINK THAT TEVTA HAS CAPACITY TO DO SO?

A. Under the instructions of the Chief Minister of the Punjab, policy decision has been taken to establish modern vocational training institutes at Tehsil level across the province of the Punjab. It has also been decided to establish placement offices at Tehsil level to arrange the jobs of TEVTA pass-outs in the local and foreign industries. It would not only help the local industry to meet with the requirement of skilled work force but also increase the productivity and foreign exchange earning for the country. Trades and details of curriculum would be decided in consultation with the industrialists, entrepreneurs, and civil society of the concerned area.

Q. WHAT IS THE POSITION OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES AT YOUR DISPOSAL?

A. Technical education is among top priorities of the government. Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has allocated Rs2.3 billion for the Annual Development Program (ADP) 2009-10 as compared to Rs1.6 billion allocated previously for the said purposes. Such huge increase in allocation of funds for the promotion of technical education is a witness of priority of the present government. This trained work force would help the local industry to expand and increase the marginal efficiencies of mass production and hence more export earnings for national exchequer. To improve the quality of training, collaboration is being sought with foreign agencies like JICA, UNIDO, GTZ, USAID, and telecom operators. Availability of skilled work force is not only a key to success for industrial development but also for individual socio-economic prosperity and poverty alleviation in the society. TEVTA is also planning to start a comprehensive campaign for counseling and guidance of the students passing-out from the schools. The youth would be motivated to get technical education and vocational training from TEVTA institutes to become skillful which will be beneficial for their future career planning. A large number of TEVTA pass outs are adjusted in the local industry. Last year, 5973 pass-outs of regular courses and 21365 of short courses have been employed in different organizations like Honda, Suzuki, Toyota, Millat Tractors, Din Engineering, Orient Energy, Sun International, PECO, Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola, New Asia Automobile, A.Q. Khan Institute, Sazgar Engineering, United Pak Industries, Turbo Motors, Saphire Textile, and AREAA Turki etc.

Employers have shown satisfaction over the performance of TEVTA trained skilled workforce. Technical education is the most viable and practical solution for poverty alleviation by generating jobs for skilled & semi-skilled workers at mass level. (KS)