Lahore: PSDF is celebrating ten years as the country’s largest skill development fund. Within a decade it has funded training of more than 500,000 men and women in 250 plus trades across all 36 districts of Punjab, implementing trainings on behalf of FCDO (Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office), World Bank and the Government of Punjab. It began operations with just four training service providers (TSPs) in 2010 to execute its trainings and since then has established a network of more than 600 TSPs. 43% of all PSDF trainees are women and collectively PSDF trainees are generating PKR 21 billion annually.
The organization catalysed engaging the industry in Pakistan’s TVET sector through cost-sharing programs to design, deliver and co-fund training programs- bridging the gap that exists between employers and workers.
PSDF funds trainings in six program areas: E-tayyar, Umeed, Haryali, Uraan, Mahir and Aghaaz. Each program area offers specialized training courses focusing on different professions and trades to nurture the skillsets of trainees so they can successfully access income-generating opportunities.
In 2020, as the pandemic unfolded PSDF swiftly re-aligned its training delivery model, shifting from classroom trainings to digital trainings. It forged successful partnerships with Coursera (the world’s leading e-learning portal) and Gnowbe to offer online courses to teach learners essential skills required to become professional freelancers and start their own businesses. By collaborating with Foodpanda, Uber, Enablers, Jazz and Zong to pilot trainings and develop diverse range of skillsets that are in demand by the present job market.
PSDF has dedicated teams to monitor the quality of trainings and to design programs based on evidence proven to make a positive impact on the learner’s livelihood. It has invested in automating and digitising its operations and is the only development sector organization in the country that uses e-procurement creating a paper-less and transparent system in public procurement. PSDF uses digital verification of its trainees to ensure that only eligible citizens receive trainings and access to resources as per its mandate.
To expand employment opportunities, PSDF has worked on connecting Pakistan’s workforce with international employers through its international Job Placement program, so citizens can benefit from the global demand of skilled workers. Through its partnership with leading hospitality sector organizations in the Middle East, PSDF graduates are working in UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
PSDF has gained acknowledgment for its growth as an effective organization with a dedicated team of experts. The organization won the “Best place to work” award in 2019 and most recently was awarded a letter of achievement by the Chief Minister of Punjab for “effectively delivering its mandate and for its outstanding performance”. PSDF graduates who trained under its Entrepreneurship course which trains learners how to develop business plans and apply for financial loans for their start-ups have received collectively a total of PKR 100 million from HBL under Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan scheme aimed at giving citizens with scalable business ventures support.