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Germany to spend euro 42mn on technical education in Pakistan

Business Recorder, Islamabad, 1 December 2013 - Germany will spend euro 42 million on projects across Pakistan till 2016 to improve facilities for technical and vocational education and train teachers.

The German government will help the government of Pakistan in implementing its five year Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Support Programme, said Janine Baudach, a representative of German enterprise GIZ in a briefing to journalists. On behalf of the German government, the German enterprise Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (NAVTEC) will finance projects to implement National Skills Strategy of government of Pakistan.

The money will be spent on vocational education projects in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Federally Administered tribal areas, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, Baudach added. NAVTEC and GIZ this week organized a two-day session to sensitize mediapersons about the benefits of investment in a skilled workforce for industrial expansion and economic growth of Pakistan.

The session was attended by media practitioners from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Balochistan and Sindh.

Pakistan has more than 3000 technical institutes which have capacity to train 281,000 students in different trades every year.

NAVTEC and GIZ are planning to revamp the technical and vocational sector as envisaged under the National Skills Strategy developed in 2009.

According to NAVTEC spokesman Akram Burq the strategy will help Pakistan to produce a skilled workforce, which is direly needed to increase industrial production and reduce unemployment.

Talking to APP, he said Pakistan is going through a critical phase as the country's population is growing at a very high rate and it is projected that by 2050 over 236 million people will be in the working age group, increasing from 110 million at present.

Vocational education sector's capacity to deliver services is insufficient to provide this growing workforce with professional skills that are needed for their employability and better prospects in the job market.

The formal technical training education sector cannot cater to the demands of nearly one million youth that enter the labour market every year, ultimately restraining Pakistan from taking advantage of its growing population.

National Deputy Coordinator for GIZ Raja Saad said that with German assistance, a nationwide training programme for vocational and technical teachers was initiated across Pakistan.

One hundred instructors were trained to become master trainers, who are now training 10,000 technical teachers employed in different public and private institutes in all parts of Pakistan.

GIZ will support NAVTEC and other partners in improving facilities and institutional structures at technical institutes and developing coordination between stakeholders at federal and provincial levels, he said, adding the government's National Skills Strategy 2009-13 provides a framework for executing vocational education projects.

Technical Education and Vocational Training Authorities in provinces and employers led private organizations including chambers and trade associations will be partners of GIZ in the programme.

The programme is supporting three technical training centres in Balochistan, however, the province's capacity to deliver trainings is limited to 2,000 training slots for about 4,400 people per year.

The programme managers understand the enormity of the task as deficient infrastructure, insufficient qualified teaching staff and lack of relevant training materials ultimately lead to training outcomes that do not match the demands of the labour market.


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