Empowering Pakistan: Highlighting the role of technical and vocational skills at Sustainability Exchange 2014

The Sustainability Exchange 2014: “Improving Livelihoods & Investing in Skills” was organized by the Engro Foundation with the support of TVET Reform Support Programme, which is funded by the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, and commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is implementing this programme in close collaboration with the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC).

The main objective of the conference was to promote a profound dialogue between public and private representatives on the TVET reform, with the objective to improve livelihoods through relevant skills training, job creation and sustainable investment.
We were also fortunate to have Imtiaz Tajwar, Executive Director NAVTCC, Mr. Lars-Gunnar Wigermark, the Ambassador of European Union, Mr. Marcel de Vink, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dr. Cyrill Nunn, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany and Mr. Leif Holger Larsen, the Ambassador of Norway attend as guests of honour on the occasion.
The conference further highlighted the role of the corporate sector in employing policies that can effectively help Pakistan reap benefits of the youth dividend specifically with regards to the on going TVET reform.
The panellists stressed that, there is greater need and scope to invest in skills programs supported by the public sector and backed by industry demand.
The participants emphasized upon quality versus quantity in the TVET system, adding the private sector can be seen as an engine for improving quality of the skills training. They argued that corporate investment therefore should be designed to take advantage of Pakistan’s competitive strengths and fulfil the country’s social and economic needs. In this context the quality of the training was mentioned so that the pass outs will indeed be picked up by the Industry.
Moreover, the conference placed emphasis on the need for adopting the Business Inclusive Model in agriculture for accelerated agricultural growth, which not only will improve food security but also alleviate poverty by enhancing incomes of these smallholder farmers as well as providing employment for the youth.
At the end it was clearly expressed by the participants that it is necessary for all stakeholders to join hands and to exhibit the necessary will to jointly support the reform in the skills sector in Pakistan. This takes time, energy and resources. The result will be a skilled Pakistan, which has a huge potential to become a major economic player in the world.