Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood has said skills building and development were crucial to ensuring youth employability prospects, as 65 percent youg population of the country would fail to secure jobs without technical education .

Addressing the launch ceremony of “Training of Master Trainers” organized by National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) on Monday, the minister said “our education sector holds no linkages” with the local industry due to which our PhDs have limited job prospects.

Underlining the various education-based challenges faced by his government, he said providing technical skills to youngsters was an important concern, as it was a means to making them capable of earning a livelihood. “The government has set forth some major policy agendas at the federal level, including initiating public-private partnerships, developing industry linkages and improving education standards to provide youngsters with the much needed skill-set,” Mahmood said.

He said the launching of single certification system across the country was also on the cards. “Our higher education system was not at par with international level as the previous government could not pay focus on the education sector according to its needs.” The minister praised the “Training of Master Trainers” Programme with the assistance of Australia, saying it was a positive step towards skills development initiatives.

He highlighted that some of the leading German companies were unwilling to invest in Pakistan due to a lack of skills among the workforce, adding that efforts were being made to train the youth on priority-basis. He said things were improving in the country that made him hopeful for a bright and prosperous future.

While sharing the details of the future course of action, Mahmood said the ministry had identified four key areas that required attention on a top-priority basis. These include bringing out-of-school children to schools, skills development, providing quality education and developing a uniform education system. He added that the government was working to improve the literacy rate in the country from 58 percent to a maximum high level in the next four years.

The minister appreciated the efforts of the ambassadors of European Union, Germany and Australia for their support in the provision of demand-driven skills development among youngsters of the country. He praised the efforts of Executive Director NAVTTC Dr Nasir for his hard work in improving the performance of the institution.

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