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Training in Stone Masonry in Gilgit-Baltistan

Project:Training in Stone Masonry in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Project Duration: December 2013 – January 2015


The seismic performance of many buildings in the northern areas of Pakistan was found to be generally very poor in earthquakes, which has led to huge losses of life and to the economyparticularly in 2005 earthquake. The collapse of many buildings was due to bad construction techniques and inadequate construction materials and mixtures, particularly concrete blocks of low thermal insulation which cannot withstand the climatically harsh conditions. To avoid the inappropriate sand-cement mixtures of pre-earthquake times, and to meet the need for more sustainable accommodation, market demand for stone masonry in both rural areas and growing towns across the region has gone up by 50% in the last three years, with upward movement expected.

Given the absence of any industrial base or other income-generation opportunities in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), and a high demand for physical reconstruction measures, stone masonry is an ideal profession for school drop-outs and unemployed youth. The target group would otherwise have no options to acquire productive skills, since there are no technical training facilities in the region.

The project, being implemented by the Rupani Foundation (RF), is supported by the TVET Reform Support Programme as part of the Fund for Innovative Training (FIT) component. The TVET Reform Support Programme is co-financed by the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Federal Republic of Germany and administered by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Project objectives

• To support and promote stone craft through structured training, technology transfer and market development
• To broaden the access of training and impart skills in stone dressing, fixing, and following standard construction codes
• To establish a stone masonry association

Target Group

1,500 unemployed youth and drop-outs across Gilgit-Baltistan will benefit from project measures.


Training will be given by involving renowned skilled master trainers in six different locations of Gilgit-Baltistan. The respective locations were selected on the basis of existing human resources in the trade. Local Support Organizations (LSOs) in the proposed regions will be involved in identifying the masters and approaching and selecting beneficiaries. MoUs, agreements and announcements of the envisaged training in print and electronic media will be made.

The proposed training will be divided in two batches of about 740 and 720 persons respectively. Each batch will undergo six months of training in using improvised tools, chiselling stones in different styles and finishing, and construction codes, among others. In line with market demand about 10% of the participants will be trained in quarrying and 90% in stone masonry. In addition, there will be two-month upgrading courses for 95 skilled workers in the selected industries.

Furthermore, the project will devise mechanisms to create linkages between the trained workforce and the job market. Firstly,completers of the training will be encouraged to continue working with their masters and RF will continue their supervision and monitoring. Secondly, steps will be taken towards formalization of the sector; a Masonry Association will be formed and will be registered as a legal entity. Thirdly, a customized website will be linked with public and private sector organizations, and RF will be responsible for monitoring all project activities.

Expected Outcomes

• Physical stability and improved climate condition of buildings
• Enhancement of self-employment opportunities
• Increasing income for target groups
• Qualified labour force for employing firms

Contact Details: Mr. Mohammad Maqsood
Email: maqsood.muhammad@gmail.com