Thursday, February 22, 2018: Leading trade and business associations within hospitality and construction sector and National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) on Thursday launched the Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) to train and produce the skilled workforce as demanded by the two key economic players in Pakistan. The ceremony was held at a local hotel in Islamabad hosted by NAVTTC where representatives along with leading business industry representatives from the textile, renewable energy and agriculture sector were also present. Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of Pakistan and National Security Advisor Mr Sartaj Aziz said that “an interest of the private sector in the demand-driven training, as well as demand analysis of workforce, will assist greatly in the development of skilled workforce as per the need of their our industry.” He appreciated the structured approach of engaging private sector for the development of skilled workforce in Pakistan and for reducing the gap between industry and academia. He said that Sector Skills Councils can play a vital role in promoting TVET sector of Pakistan, equally benefitting the industry and government. He said that unemployment is a serious issue for our country and the only solution to this problem is to engage our youth in getting skills so that they are able to support their families. Executive Director NAVTTC Mr Zulfiqar Ahmed Cheema said that the establishment of the councils will help to bridge the gap between the public-private sector for the policy alignment as well as producing qualified workforce. He said that our future is associated with the promotion of TVET sector. If it becomes the priority of government, industry and media, all of our problems may be solved. This sector has the capacity to change destiny of our nation, he stressed. He said that if the government introduced a special package for TVET sector, it would increase our economy. The Sector Skills Councils are being promoted as one initiative to support the reform of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Pakistan. They are intended to be a mechanism to secure the greater involvement of employers in the design and implementation of publicly-funded training and to increase the quality and scale of training. The initiative is supported by the TVET Sector Support Programme (SSP), which is funded by the European Union and governments of the Germany and Norway. Establishment of SSCs in textile, renewable energy and agriculture sector is also under consideration by NAVTTC to promote the public-private partnership. Aisha Khan, president of the Hospitality Sector Skills Council, declared the establishment of Sector Scheduled Councils as a historic moment, saying that it would further strengthen Pakistan’s TVET sector. She said that new trends in view of market demand will be reviewed and soon the tourism sector will also be included in the Hospitality Sector Skills Council. Shahid Rafique, president of the Construction Sector Skills Council said he would also provide On the Job training to the graduates of NAVTTC which will help them to secure jobs in CPEC projects.
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