Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has launched DigiSkills Training Programme, an ambitious undertaking that envisions training one million youth through online modules.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony in Islamabad on Thursday, Abbasi said the government had delivered on several promises by building motorways, ports, airports and establishing power plants, but advancement in information technology sector was its most important contribution in the last five years.

He was of the view that the Digiskills programme would equip the youth to get online jobs and earn money in novel ways, adding that he had faith in the youth of the country and was confident that girls would especially lead e-commerce and digital fields.

Abbasi said the government’s responsibility was to fully facilitate the private sector to take the initiative and lead the way and the government was committed to ensuring availability of broadband in every corner of the country to facilitate e-commerce. He appreciated Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunication (MoITT) and Virtual University of Pakistan (VU) for their role in the development of youth through ICT and digital services.

Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications Anusha Rehman said the DigiSkills programme was an important one for information technology in Pakistan. She said the programme would create online employment opportunities to enable youth to earn $200 to $300 per month. Anusha said the programme would enable the young to provide services to the entire world.

VU Rector Dr Naveed A Malik also praised the initiative, saying it would help bring in valuable foreign exchange into the country, and more importantly, help reduce unemployment.

He said Virtual University of Pakistan would play its role as a web-based training platform and learning management system, along with development of necessary training content to enable one million Pakistanis to enroll and take free online training courses.

An agreement signing ceremony later took place at the Prime Minister Secretariat in the presence of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Dr Naveed Malik and CEO Ignite Yusuf Hussain

The DigiSkills programme is being offered under aegis of Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom through IGNITE – National Technology Fund (formerly National ICT R&D Fund). The programme will train students in freelancing and other specialized skills including, digital literacy, digital marketing, SEO, Autocad, WordPress, Quickbooks, graphics design, creative writing, e-commerce management and freelancing.

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