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PR-/88
Ziqaad 7, 1437 A.H.
AUGUST 11, 2016

RISING POVERTY & UNEMPLOYMENT
Vocational, technical training to act as gateway to social, economic development: Cheema

KARCHI: Executive Director of National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NVTTC), Zulfiqar Cheema has said that no one can deny the significance of vocational and technical training which can act as a gateway to social and economic development. He said that this was the only way to efficiently deal with numerous economic challenges particularly poverty, unemployment, rising crimes and terrorism. Exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Zulfiqar Cheema added that NVTTC’s was intending to provide vocational and technical training to maximum number of youth so that they could not indulge in crimes and terrorism.

President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Naeem Sharif and KCCI Managing Committee members were present on the occasion. Zulfiqar Cheema further pointed out that 60 percent of Pakistan’s total population comprises of youth but it was a matter of grave concern that this youth, due to rising unemployment, suffers terribly as they become victims of mental depression, frustration and hopelessness which leads to committing crimes. However, this hopeless and frustrated youth can be transformed into an outstanding dividend by focusing on imparting vocational and technical training, besides raising awareness about the same amongst the masses particularly parents. “If we improve their skills, I am fairly optimistic that Pakistani youth will surely become a valuable resource for the country and this trained and skilled youth will be more precious than gold", he added.  

Executive Director NVTTC further mentioned that more than half a century had been wasted as no attention was paid to vocational and technical training but now, NVTTC has undertaken numerous skills development and technical training projects, besides signing MoUs with its international partners with an intention to pay special attention to this important aspect of economic development. He informed that more than 1,000 training programs have been conducted so far and around 25 institutions were now affiliated with NVTTC whereas the number of NVTTC-trained students also been raised from 25,000 to 50,000 each year. Zulfiqar Cheema further noted that some of the most developed countries around the world have placed special emphasis on vocational and technical training of their youth, which was the basic reason why these countries were leading the world. He admitted that NVTTC remained distant from the industry, which led to numerous issues but efforts were being made to reduce the gap between the industry and NVTTC. “We would like to have demand-driven NVTTC which means the industrialists and employers will tell us their requirement and we will accordingly, supply well-trained and skilled workforce”, he added. He said that job placement center has been inaugurated in Islamabad where data of skilled youth is available which can be accessed by industrialists and employers at the click of a button. Similarly, more job placement centers will further be inaugurated in all provinces of the country in order to bridge the gap between the employers and skilled students.

Terming it a national cause, Executive Director NVTTC said that the future of Pakistan depends on the performance of NVTTC. Sharing his experience in heading different government departments during his career, Zulfiqar Cheema opined that it was not a difficult task to improve the functioning of any organization and put it back in the right direction, which can easily be done by an honest officer who is not stained with any charge of financial or moral corruption. “It only requires the will and then, every single target can be achieved”, he added. Earlier President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, in his welcome address, paid glowing tribute to Zulfiqar Cheema for his exceptional services in different capacities and also his untiring efforts which resulted in improving the functioning of many government departments. He was fairly optimistic that under Cheema’s supervision, the operations of NVTTC will also improve which was very essential in order to put Pakistan on a path to prosperity. He stressed that efforts must be made to make Pakistani youth a useful resource so that they can contribute towards the economic development of the country but this can only be achieved through vocational and technical training of youth. “Unfortunately, most of the young generation in Pakistan are lacking any skills that can be of any use, consequently they have become a huge burden instead of a resource”, he said, adding that thus, the country has been facing many serious issues pertaining to poverty, unemployment, rising crime rate and terrorism. He said, “We need to realize that young blood deprived from jobs and opportunities are very vulnerable targets and can be used for different crimes.” Therefore, there was a dire need to equip these individuals with skills so that they can become a contributing member towards the development of Pakistan. It was vital for NVTTC to expand its operation while the government must also encourage and support them, he added.