LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Saturday inaugurated the Chief Minister Skilled Youth Programme. An amount of Rs1.5 billion has been allocated for the programme. Initially, 56 courses according to market needs for to 150,000 youth.

Usman Buzdar, while addressing the inaugural ceremony, said that initially the programme would benefit more than 150,000 youth while its scope would be enhanced gradually in four years by including 875,000 more youth in it. 

He said that approximately 60 per cent of national target of provision of employment would be completed under the Punjab Growth Strategy 2023. He said the programme was a reflection of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for the youth and an important step towards fulfillment of that promise made with the people by the PTI regarding creating job opportunities.

He said that joint venture of public private partnership was a proof of successful economic policies of the government.  CPEC projects were being speedily completed with the cooperation of China. More than, 11 projects of Punjab were included in the nine sectors of the CPEC. In the context of the CPEC “Chief Minister Skilled Youth Programme” was of great significance and need of skilled workers in Punjab for the CPEC could only be fulfilled by this programme.

Initially, 56 courses for 150,000 young people

He said that skilled youth was an asset for any state and their role for the development and progress of the country was of great importance.

He said that no attention was given in the past to enhance the capability of TEVTA, adding that it was struggling to provide new skills to the youth according to the latest technology and need of the time. The Punjab government would ensure provision of resources required for this mission.

The PTI government believed in the empowerment of women and struggling to create economic opportunities for them. A number of courses were being offered especially for women in TEVTA, the CM said.

The Punjab government was working for setting up four technical universities in Punjab. Punjab Tianjin University Lahore and Punjab University of Technology Rasool were providing modern technical training, he said. 

University of Technology and Mir Chakar Khan Rind  University of Technology would be set up in Rawalpindi and DG Khan, respectively, he added.

He said BS programmes were being offered to the youth in the institutions supported by TEVTA. Syllabus of technical institutes run under TEVTA was being designed according to the modern needs.

Provincial Minister for Industry Mian Aslam Iqbal, Chairperson TEVTA Ali Salman also addressed the ceremony. Provincial Ministers Hashim Jawan Bakhat, Sardar Husnain Bahadur Dreshak, Mohsin Leghari, President PTI Central Punjab Ijaz Chaudhary, Members Punjab Assembly and other concernedofficers were also present.

The finance minister blamed economic crisis on the previous government. “Due to outdated technical education curriculum, Pakistan’s economy had suffered losses, as the share of technical education in national income was 9 per cent in 2013 which was reduced to 2 per cent by 2017,” he said.

“Pakistan had entered the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It now required annual 9 per cent GDP growth rate for which it was updating its technical education curriculum in accordance with the market needs and special economic zones requirements. The project is part of PTI initiatives to cope with economic challenges.”

He said globally human resources were established and developed in accordance with the market demand to develop the labour industry and the government was working on the same lines. He said a programme to access the international markets of skilled workforce would be launched soon and more jobs and business opportunities would be created for the youth.

Aslam Iqbal said Punjab was the first province which under the leadership of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar had established two special economic zones in the private sector and five special economic zones in the public sector.

Two billion dollars foreign investment had been witnessed in Faisalabad Industrial Estates, while industries of one billion dollar had been set up and agreements of one billion dollars investment with foreign companies had also been inked, he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan would inaugurate Allama Iqbal Industrial City Faisalabad on January 3, 2020, the minister said.  The minister said positive results had come of the implementation of price control mechanism and prices of essential items had stabilised.

He said empowerment of youth was the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Punjab government was moving forward under the leadership of the chief minister to achieve this target.  

Target of imparting technical education to 2.5 million children had been given under the Punjab growth strategy 2023, the TEVTA would impart training to 8 lakh 75 thousands students under this strategy, he added.

The minister said the TEVTA was giving training 90 thousand students every year and under the “Hunarmand Nujawan Program” it will train additional one lakh students every year and the chief minister had given additional Rs 1,500 million funds for this purpose.

The Punjab Skill Development Authority had been established and all institutions of technical education will work under one umbrella, he added.

Aslam Iqbal said the programme of revival of the cottage industry was being launched soon, under this programme Rs 1 to 3 lakh would be given as a loan.

Similarly, a big programme had been prepared to facilitate skilled force for starting their business and up to Rs 30 lakh will be given every applicant to start his business. The special package was being given to female candidates under the direction of the chief minister, he concluded.