Skilled manpower need of the day

A senior reader of this paper, in his letter to the editor, has rightly highlighted significance of vocational and technical training in this era of rapid industrialisation besides pinpointing the flaws existing in our education sector.
Nobody could deny the importance of skilled workforce for progress and forward march of the country but regrettably in Pakistan the ratio of vocational training is meagre one percent as compared to other countries where it is about sixteen percent while in Germany it is much higher and some figures put it at thirty six percent. Equipping the workforce with skills required for the jobs of today and those of tomorrow is a matter of strategic concern in the national growth and development outlooks of developed countries. These countries are supporting robust training strategies to meet challenges of fostering strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Nevertheless Pakistan, whose economy depends heavily on remittances sent by overseas workers, has done little to match and compete with other countries in this realm. India, Philippines and Bangladesh have given due focus to establishment of technical institutes enabling their people to secure jobs especially in the Gulf countries. Gulf countries were once ideal destination for Pakistani workers but due to sheer negligence towards producing skilled and semi skilled force, we are losing this lucrative market to fully equipped and trained Indians, Filipinos and Bengalis. The Dubai 2020 Expo, the Qatar 2022 World Cup, in addition to the planned massive constructions projects, especially in Saudi Arabia are likely to continue to increase the demand for skilled and semi skilled migrant workers. In order to secure opportunities in these mega events and projects, it is important that all stakeholders especially the skills development institutions and overseas employment promoters play their active role and prepare adequate manpower in the marketable skills. Producing market-oriented work force would mean more opportunities for our youth in Gulf States and more foreign exchange in return.

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