Lahore—Head of the Department for International Development (DFID) in Pakistan Ms. Joanna Reid signed the Exchange of Letter (EOL) with Secretary Punjab Planning & Development Department Iftikhar Ali Sahoo at the P&D Complex, Lahore on Tuesday. According to commitment, DFID will provide £38.4 million for the Skills Development Programme (SDP), to be executed by Punjab Skill Development Fund. Punjab Government will ensure provision of the remaining amount for the programme.
The programme has been conceived in light of the Chief Minister of the Punjab’s vision to provide employable skills to two million youth by 2018. Under the SDP programme, technical and vocational skills trainings will be provided to a total of 330,000 poor and vulnerable youth, including 40% women, across all districts of the Punjab to enhance their employment prospects and incomes. The programme will initially span 5 years, starting from the date of signing of the EOL until 31 March 2021.
Over 60% of Punjab’s population is less than 30-year-old while one million youngsters enter the workforce every year. By age 15 more than half of all children are out of school and a labour force with amongst the lowest productivity growth in all of Asia. There is a dire need for such training programme to equip youth with employable skills to enhance their job prospects. Training imparted under the programme will enable youth to earn livelihood for their families or to improve income of those employed prior to training. Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) is a section 42 not-for-profit company established in 2010 under the Companies Ordinance 1984 by the Government of the Punjab.