Planning Commission of Pakistan has approved PKR 2.7 billion for 21st Century Global Skills Initiative that will train 100,000 professionals in ICT and in-demand domains to develop Pakistan’s global workforce. This initiative is a part of Federal Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) and will run through Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan. The pilot project will train 25,000 professionals over a span of three years. In the coming months, HEC will be launching the initiative and is planning to kickstart the first batch from July – August 2018.
The 21st Century Global Skills Initiative shall encompass:
- The government will subsidize the cost of certification in high-in-demand and marketable skills up to 90%
- Global technology companies and their partners that own certifications will be invited to send their professional and certified trainers to run training programs at selected HEC universities across the country
- The training will be rigorous and comprehensive running for 4 – 6 months on weekdays (6:00 – 9:00 PM) and on weekends (9:00 AM – 6:00 PM) leading to a global certification
- To be eligible for 90% subsidy, recent graduates and young professionals should clear an aptitude/entrance test administered by the certifiying or training body
Lack of highly trained and job-ready professionals has always been a major challenge of the local IT industry. This project, if implemented effectively, have the potential to transform the future of the Pakistani IT industry. Local software companies will be enabled to target high-end export markets and compete with other global IT contributors.
Moreover, the human resource trained through this program will contribute to a global workforce and will be ambassadors of Pakistan, presenting the progressive image of the country. Not all beneficiaries of the program shall be able to migrate and the talent being retained, will have the right potential to attract global IT companies to establish or scale their operations across Pakistan.
Executive Director of HEC, Dr. Arshad Ali shared about 21st Century Global Skills Initiative,
“I see this program as a kind of finishing school for young graduates who may learn a lot of theory in the classroom but will get an opportunity to put all of this to test through a rigorous 4-6 month programme that puts the finishing touches on classroom learning and leave with a valuable specialisation and a global certification with them.”
HEC Pakistan has also announced a skill-based training program for unemployed youth holding a Master’s degree in general, arts or humanities subjects. The deadline to apply for this program is April 16th.