S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst, PAGE
Nov 21 - 27, 2011
Technical work force is vital for enhancing productive capacity and ensuring a sustainable economy. The primary objectives of the vocational training institutes are to train the youth and prepare them for the development of an economy. They provide an opportunity to the individuals to develop their talents and skill and instill in them a sense of confidence, self-reliance, and social usefulness.
Training and education is important for not only creating jobs but also capitalizing on opportunities. The HRD and vocational training situation in Pakistan is not impressive compared to that of other developing countries in Asia and south Asia.
Malaysia spends about eight per cent of its GDP on education, while Pakistan spends less than two per cent, which is lowest in the region. This underinvestment has the potential to inhibit future investments and development of value added products and services for export and domestic markets.
There is a serious mismatch between the jobs demanded by the emerging needs of the economy and the supply of skills and trained human resource in the country. Pakistan's economy is seeing but slow progress in the technological intensive sectors such as telecommunications, information technology, oil and gas, financial services and engineering goods. The universities and colleges are turning out hundreds of thousands of graduates in arts, humanities, and languages.
The divergence has created waste and misallocation of resources on one hand and the shortages of essential skills required to keep the wheels of the economy moving on the other. It also shows that the public sector and government is losing jobs or there is at least stagnation.
Moreover, technical and vocational training has failed to keep pace with the emerging skill gaps that have further been widened by the migration of experienced technicians and professionals to the Middle East and elsewhere.
National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (Navtec) is a regulatory body responsible for promoting linkages among various stakeholders to address the challenges faced by technical and vocational educational training (TVET).
Navtec focuses on underprivileged group of economically disadvantaged region. The most appreciating function of Navtec is to enhance the employability of youth and supporting women to participate in labor force more actively. Today rate of women participation is only 29 per cent, which is far less than other regional countries.
Under President's Fanni Maharat Programme, individuals across the country are provided opportunities to gain skills from vocational training institutes/centres. Prime Minister's Hunar Mand Pakistan Programme is also a similar kind of step to launch different skill development programmes in four priority sectors including construction, agriculture, IT and telecommunication and skill development of women.
These institutes also link industry and technical institutes and facilitate in information flow and benefit from new industrial innovation by bridging the gap between academics and new industrial innovations.
In this regards, the contribution of different industries advisory groups (IAGs), established by Navtec, to create missing links between industries and training providers cannot be ruled out. These IAGs provide industry intelligence to policymakers and training providers in designing skills, standards and curricula. IAGs identified five priority sectors: textile, construction, tourism and hospitality, surgical instruments and agricultural. IAGs also continue its working create skill workforce required at work places.
First time in the history of Pakistan, national skill competition was also conducted so that competing institutes, and participating males and females could be encouraged for streamlining of industry requirements.
Under the different long term programmes, the commission emphasizes a shift from curriculum based to competency based training through its national skills strategy 2009-13 to create demand driven training system as per the requirement of industry.
National level survey of all TVET institutes has also been planned to gather information about capacity enrolment, courses, physical resources, linkages to industries, student services, and financial resources under public-private partnerships.
Recently, an agreement for a grant of 42.4 million Euros between national vocational and technical training commission (NAVTTC) and German development agency GIZ has signed. The NAVTTC, through economic affairs division and in consultation with the provincial stakeholders negotiated a technical assistance program with the EU, governments of Netherland and Germany who had contributed the required grants. The program will be executed by NAVTTC in collaboration with the GIZ over a period of five years.
The government is focusing on HRD and vocational training as means of poverty alleviation and enhancement of job opportunity through skills. In order to handle the unemployment situation and uplift the socioeconomic condition, the importance of skilled work force cannot be denied. Vocational training is an effective instrument of transfer of knowledge, promoting self-employment, and meeting the industrial job demands.