United Nations

First Step to Productive and Decent Employment

Islamabad: The main flaw of the current TVET system in Pakistan is the disconnect between training and industry, agreed participants of a workshop on developing national expertise in competency standards development. A group of twenty women and men representing public and private sector training authorities including provincial TEVTAs, Vocational Training Institutions, Ministry of Textiles, Saman Zar, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Programme (BBSYDP), Pakistan Readymade Garments Technical Training Institute (PRGTTI), College Of Tourism Hotel Management (COTHM) and others are being trained by the ILO Office for Pakistan on competency standards development. This initial four day workshop will be followed up by technical assistance to initiate and complete the process of competency standards development for key economic sectors as part of their work with the ILO.

This training is being conducted under the ILO project, Promoting Gender Equality for Decent Employment (GE4DE), funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. The key technical outcome of the workshop is the development of competency standards, which define the exact requirements of the workplace. These standards will help training providers ensure that the training is high quality and industry demand based.

Initially the focus is on competency standards development for textiles and fashion design, hospitality and beauty and personal care. Since these are sectors which are considered key in terms of Pakistan’s economic development and women’s employment, the provision of high quality, market relevant training will have a positive impact on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Speaking at the opening of the first of this series of workshops, the Country Director of the ILO, Mr. Francesco d’Ovidio, described the centrality of skills development in economic growth and social development, “The Global Employment Agenda (2003) and the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization (2008) highlight skills development as central to improving productivity, job creation and standards of living. Better education and training for young people, workers and entrepreneurs can accelerate the transition to the formal economy and the benefits that globalization can bring”. He encouraged participants to maximize this opportunity, not take it as “just another training session”, but to build on this and organise themselves as a “pool of experts”. He assured them of ILO’s technical support, “but you will have to take the first steps”.

The workshop has been designed and is being delivered by ILO’s Skills and Training Specialist, Mr. Trevor Riordan. Mr. Riordan has in depth knowledge of skills development systems in Pakistan and around the world. “Pakistan already has an established Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system. However, the system is hampered by inadequate links with industry and outdated curriculum and delivery strategies.” he commented.

The National Project Coordinator, Frida Khan, explained that GE4DE aimed to provide skills and employment to 6300 women and men from rural and urban areas of Pakistan. Unless training was in line with market demand, sustainable employment could not be assured. In order to achieve employability that is sustainable, competency standards are an important first step and this pool of national experts could become much needed resource persons in leading the reform of the TVET system in Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Ms. Ishrat Rizvi
National Information Officer
United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)
Islamabad
Tel: +9251 835 5720
Cell: +92300 855 3790
Email: ishrat.rizvi@unic.org

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