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*Skilled youth vital for prosperity, socio-economic development: Provincial Minister Aslam Iqbal*

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Highlighting the importance of producing skilled youth towards socio-economic development, Punjab Minister for Industries, Commerce and Investment Mian Muhammad Aslam Iqbal has said that experts in skills training can contribute a lot in not only saving the planet but also offering skilled manpower to both public as well as private sectors.
The provincial government’s efforts are to have best vocational and technical training system that conforms the international standards. Today while seeing all these graduates having choice of the employment search as per the same demand-driven aspects of industry is the real showcasing of what we had aimed for, the minister remarked this while addressing the fresh graduates at the Hunar Rozgar Mela 2021 in Lahore.
The Hunar Rozgar Mela was organized by Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) Punjab, the donor funded TVET Sector Support Programme (SSP) implemented by National Vocational and Technical Training Commission, Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and Programme Migration for Development (PME). Purpose of the Mela was aimed at providing a platform to the job seeking TVET graduates, undergraduate and returnees from EU and GCC countries.
These institutes have received assistance from the TVET SSP. Aside from the 62.5 million Euro work in the TVET sector, the TVET SSP has recently launched a 5 million Euro reintegration of returnees in Pakistan initiative to support returning migrants and local populations in their socioeconomic reintegration through skills, career counselling, and business start-ups measures.
Punjab Minister for Industries, Commerce and Investment Mian Muhammad Aslam Iqbal, MNA Andleeb Abbas and Chief Advisor TEVTA, Skills Policy Punjab, Usman Khan, were also present on the occasion.
Through this event, the TEVTA Punjab successfully showcased the skills of training institutes in the province that are implementing competency-based training in industry priority economic sectors.
As many as 1,100 graduates of TVET SSP from 21 different institutes visited recruitment kiosks of 30 national and multinational enterprises for exploring employment opportunity against 1,400 jobs while testing their interview skills in front of more than 60 recruiters in various leading economic sectors of Pakistan.
Speaking at the occasion, Chairperson TEVTA Ali Salman Siddique said, the Hunar Rozgar Mela 2021 is a great initiative and served as a platform to connect hundreds of young jobseekers trained in vocational and technical trades with recruiters and HR professionals from leading enterprises.
In his remarks, Olaf Handloegten, GIZ Cluster Coordinator (Training and Sustainable Growth for Decent Jobs) said that the event showcases the potential of public-private partnership in the TVET sector of Pakistan, with both a wide-range visibility of the Government of Pakistan’s commitment towards employment promotion and skills delivery, as well as of Business and Industry Associations working in the TVET sector.
MNA Andleeb Abbas also said the participation of private sector in the TVET SSP is critical for gaining access to quality skills development, on-the-job training opportunities, and establishing a conducive climate for employment.
Chief Advisor TEVTA, Skills Policy Punjab, Usman Khan, speaking at the occasion said that they are encouraged to see the results of TVET SSP and efforts of TEVTA Punjab especially in the area of industry-linkages. We aspire and anticipate stronger cooperation and collaboration between TEVTA and the commercial sector in improving training quality and employment possibilities for our alumni.
Panel discussion on the topic ‘Employment for Economic Sustainability and the Role of the Private Sector in TVET in post-COVID Scenario’ was also conducted. All the panelists put forward their expert opinions on the training and human resource development aspects.
The Hunar Rozgar Mela 2021 was concluded with the insights from the leading representatives of industry involved in TVET delivery like Member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC), Professor of Economics and Director, Graduate Institute of Development Studies, Lahore School of Economics, Dr Rashid Amjad, CEO Depilex Group, Musarrat Misbah, Nouman Kabir, President Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Ali Salman Siddique, Chairperson TEVTA and Rep of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation.

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