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CPEC’s Role in Skill Development of Pakistan’s Youth

GlobalVillageSpace

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Mar 4, 2017
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That over 60 percent of the country’s population of 210 million is below the age of 35 is no longer news in Pakistan. However, the understanding that unless productively engaged through gainful employment, this youth bulge could become a liability has until recently, eluded the attention of policymakers.

Even though technical and vocational education and training (TVET) provides the shortest and swiftest path for productive youth engagement, it has failed to attract sufficient appreciation. Globally, countries like Germany have effectively utilized their TVET sector to maintain their position in the face of the ever-growing Chinese manufacturing spree.


German TVET is the best globally and the country’s primary quality assurance instrument in automotive (Mercedes-Benz and BMW) and electronics (Siemens, Bosch) industries. UK and Australia accord equal importance to their TVET sectors.

Closer home, India and Sri Lanka have realized the sector’s value, both for youth engagement and enhancing sectoral productivity. India’s “Skill India” program launched in 2015 aims to skill some 400 Million youth by 2022.

It is estimated that as many as 52 percent of the workforce in the US, 68 percent in the UK, 75 percent in Germany, 80 percent in Japan, and 96 percent in South Korea have undergone formal skill training. In comparison, less than 5 percent of people have undergone similar training in Pakistan.

It reflects the fact that in Pakistan, the TVET sector has, until recently, been largely ignored, with paltry investments coming in from both the public and private sectors. It suffers from limited training capacity, outdated workshops and laboratories, obsolete training equipment, archaic teaching methods, and antiquated curricula.

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CPEC’s Role in Skill Development of Pakistan’s Youth
 

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