MULTAN, (Muzaffargarh.City – 16th Nov, 2017 ) :Over 10,000 youngsters would be imparted vocational training in different market-oriented trades in four districts of south Punjab, under a three-year Punjab Youth Workforce Development (PYWD) project, being executed in cooperation with the USAID.
This was stated by Chief of Party USAID-PYWD project, Qaisar Nadeem, while addressing a seminar, hosted by Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) here on Thursday. MCCI Senior Vice President Roomana Tanveer Sheikh and many industrialists, traders attended the seminar.
USAID-PYWD project and MCCI also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise a partnership between PYWD and MCCI to address the demand and supply side of the skills gaps and devise means to bridge them through mutual collaboration.
Qaisar Nadeem said that a number of youngsters, ageing 16-29 years with at least 35 per cent females, were undergoing free training in Bahawalpur, Multan, Lodhran and Muzaffargarh. They were also being provided monthly scholarships and would get free tool kits of their respective disciplines after completion of training so that they can contribute services to earn livelihood in a dignified manner.
The three-year project would impart training to over 10,000 youngsters as a step forward to develop a workforce of skilled people. He said that missing facilities including equipment were also being provided to 22 vocational institutes under this project in addition to training of teachers and modernisation of curriculum in accordance with industry’s needs.
He said that 4,000 youngsters would also be given training under the apprenticeship programme and half of their monthly stipend would be paid by the USAID.
He disclosed that a fund worth Rs 50 million has also been set up in collaboration with the Akhuwwat Foundation with half of the funding from USAID to extend interest-free loans to the skilled workers.
Qaisar Nadeem said that four-month training programmes for rural women in four trades including commercial tailoring, Adda Work, and hand embroidery would begin at 55 centres from Jan 1, 2018 under a US$1.6 million programme to train at least 1100 women.
Another ‘Skill for Marketing’ programme would train women on how to market their products with direct access to retailers. District Manager Tevta Multan Imran Ashraf said that number of Tevta institute engaged under USAID-PYWD project and number of students being trained under the project have almost doubled compared to the time when the project was initiated around eight months ago.
Akhuwwat Foundation Area Manager Atiq Zafar said that Akhuwwat has so far disbursed Rs 47 billion under its microfinance scheme that benefited 2.6 million people. Out of this amount over one billion rupees were disbursed in Multan to benefit 70,000 families.
He said that 730 branches of Akhuwwat were functional in country to extend interest-free loans and 25 of them were operational in Multan. Senior Vice President MCCI Roomana Tanveer Sheikh lauded the USAID-PYWD project and promised all out support to the initiative.
She hoped that the workforce developed under this project would be ready to harness opportunities that would arise in the wake of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). She said that it would help improve our exports and eliminate unemployment.r