Reintegration of Returnees in Pakistan: Offering reintegration assistance to returnees and local Pakistanis
Lahore, December 8, 2021: TVET Sector Support Programme (SSP) officially launched its newly initiated component ‘Reintegration of Returnees in Pakistan’ at a local hotel in Lahore today to assist the returnees and local population to gain socio-economic settling. The Reintegration of Returnees is a newly launched initiative of TVET SSP which is funded by the European Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Royal Norwegian Embassy. The reintegration measures in Pakistan for resettlement of Pakistanis returning voluntarily from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Europe and Germany are supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in partnership with the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) in close collaboration with the provincial Technical Education and Vocational Training Authorities (TEVTAs) and several not-for-profit, public and private sector organizations.
The ceremony also saw the participation from representatives of various stakeholders of the TVET sector including the Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC), the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Lahore Division), the Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF), and World Wide Fund Pakistan (WWF).
The ‘Reintegration of Returnees in Pakistan’ initiative will support Pakistani returnees and the local communities (non-returnees) by offering them quick and effective start-up opportunities, especially in Punjab, as this region is most affected by return migration. The component will support 15,000 individuals, including 6,500 returnees from Germany, Europe and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries through various support measures including Career and Entrepreneurship Advisory Services, Competency-based Training & Assessments (CBT&A), Recognition of Prior Learning, and Employment Promotion.
A partnership agreement was also signed between the TVET Sector Support Programme and the Punjab Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) at this occasion. The event was attended by Mr. Ali Salman Siddique, Chairperson Punjab TEVTA, Mr. Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Director General Punjab National Vocational and Technical Testing Commission (NAVTTC), and Ms. Iris Cordelia Rotzoll, Head of TVET Sector Support Programme, GIZ Pakistan.
The initial partnership agreement between TVET Sector Support Programme and Punjab TEVTA will offer reintegration assistance to 425 returnees and locals through CBT&A and Recognition of Prior Learning. Additionally, 200 toolkits will be provided as in-kind support. Training institutes in Punjab will furthermore be benefitting from labs upgraded with training equipment. The agreement was signed by Mr. Ali Salman Siddique from PTEVTA and Ms. Iris Cordelia Rotzoll from TVET Sector Support Programme.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Ali Salman Siddique said, “I am happy to partake in such a progressive initiative to contribute and promote in very sensitive development aspect of our society: that is a reintegration of our Pakistani people back in the country of their origin. It is of utmost importance to provide suitable training and skills development opportunities to the returnees, and I believe, such partnerships equip us to play our part in the process. Punjab TEVTA has been working in close coordination with the TVET Sector Support Programme for a decade now and these new collaborations show the trust and confidence we have in each other. Many workers from Punjab move to GCC countries in search of better work opportunities and when they return, they at times struggle a bit. Punjab TEVTA hopes to sustain this partnership and help the returning migrants in Punjab.”
Ms. Iris Cordelia Rotzoll also believed that this partnership was an important step towards the success of this new initiative. “The German Development Cooperation considers the TVET sector as a crucial factor in the socio-economic development of Pakistan. The addition of the reintegration component is an important step. I believe returnees will benefit from it immensely” she said.