Ahsan Kamray ( Lahore )
Pakistan is the sixth most populous country and one of the largest young countries in the world having 64 percent of the population below the age of 30. Pakistan has the 10th largest labour force in the world with more than 4 million youth attaining work age every year. Pakistan’s youth unemployment rate is 8.5%, one of the highest in the region and the lowest female labour force participation rates in South Asia across all the age groups. To improve labor force participation rates, an additional 1.3 million jobs must be generated each year for the next five years which can be achieved by ensuring quality education, technical and vocational skill training, innovation, access to technology and other necessary facilities to youth.
World Youth Skills Day is celebrated every year on 15th July across the globe. This year we talked to prominent Pakistani youngsters doing remarkable work in their communities to know the issues faced by our youth and also to get their solution.
Youth member of Prime Minister’s National Youth Council from Choti Zeerin, an underdeveloped area of Dera Ghazi khan , Punjab, Nabila Abbas, who is the DIANA Awardee working on girls education spoke to Sunday Plus, “while we are talking about Skill based education, people here in doesn’t have the basic education, our girls are out of schools, we don’t have primary schools for girls in our villages”. How can we dream of a prosperous Pakistan when our people living in rural areas are lagging behind in education, skills, basic necessities & living”, she questioned. She gave a suggestion of innovative rural development and also demanded for a separate province.
Farida Kanwal, member of Prime Minister’s National Youth Council from Gilgit Baltistan, who is alsothe founder of an App that has bridged schools, teachers, parents & students, reducing the burden & enhancing the communication, told Sunday Plus that we have high literacy rate in GB but lack quality education, we have to go to other cities for education. “Covid 19 has taught the World importance of digital skills. Alas! Our biggest problem is lack of internet facilities, we need to invest in it”, she added.
Another active member of Prime Minister National Youth Council Member and Executive Director MASHAL Laraib Abid said, Youth is the asset of a country and when it is equipped with better training and skills it can aid in building impactful nation. Young generation needs to be trained according to the upcoming challenges they have to face as the world is becoming harder with fierce competition. It is overwhelming to speculate adversities related to education and jobs due to the shifting of school to online. “Youth should be provided training on how to operate online platforms and get technical skills to curb the educational and socio-economic challenges”, she added
Focal person for the media group of Prime Minister’s National Youth Council, Tayyaba Nisar Khan told Sunday Plus that government has been actively working towards engaging youth and building their skill set, so they may utilise them for future employment opportunities. The high-tech skill set includes course scholarships on Artificial Intelligence, Graphic Designing, and more IT related courses. “Over 7 billion loans have already been disbursed among 6000 young individuals under entrepreneurship scheme”, she added. Prime Minister’s National Youth Council (NYC) is a project under the umbrella of Kamyab Jawan program, which aims to uplift the youth of Pakistan that constitutes approximately 63% of the National population. “Under the National Youth Council, we will work towards building youth policies for different thematic areas such as marginalized communities, health, employment opportunities, and more”, she said