LAHORE (Dec 8, 2021): In order to consolidate the Punjab government’s endeavours to ensure sustainable economic development, the TVET Sector Support Programme (SSP) has launched a special initiative to assist 15,000 local individuals including the Pakistanis returning from foreign countries to gain socio-economic settling.
Under this formally launched initiative ‘Reintegration of Returnees in Pakistan’ these 15,000 individuals will include 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.
The TVET SSP is funded by the European Union, Germany and the Norwegian Embassy. The reintegration measures for resettlement of Pakistanis returning voluntarily from 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’ 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.
At the occasion, the TVET SSP and the Punjab Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) signed a partnership agreement.
Chairperson Punjab TEVTA Ali Salman Siddique, Director General Punjab National Vocational and Technical Testing Commission (NAVTTC) Mujeeb Ur Rehman, and Head of TVET SSP, GIZ Pakistan, Ms. Iris Cordelia Rotzoll were present at the signing ceremony. Ali Salman Siddique and Iris Cordelia Rotzoll signed the agreement.
The initial partnership 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 while training institutes in Punjab will furthermore be benefitting from labs upgraded with training equipment.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ali Salman Siddique expressed satisfaction to join this progressive initiative. He said, “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 SSP for a decade now and these new collaborations show our confidence 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.”
In her remarks, Iris Cordelia Rotzoll also believed 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.
The story originally appeared in DAILY AUSAF