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PESHAWAR: Institutional shortcomings, fiscal constraints and defective training are responsible for an ineffective technical and vocational education and training system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, resulting in a growing unskilled workforce in the province.
The Skills Development Plan (SDP), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, describes competing social and economic demands, underutilisation of existing facilities, inflexibility/lack of autonomy, problems with training content, linkage of institutional training programmes with employment market, informal sector training, apprenticeship training and public sector allocations, and the effect of globalisation as constraints facing the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system in the province.
To create a road map for the province to reduce its unemployment rate and overcome the skilled labour shortage faced by the public and private sector by improving vocation and technical training in the province, the plan was put in place in October 2012 with the assistance of GIZ, a German development organisation, and other development partners of the provincial government.
It was prepared for the provincial ministry for technical education, where, according to a relevant source, it remains unattended, accumulating dust because of official negligence.
SDP asks for involving employers in designing training package, terming it vital to achieve the objective of quality control, relevance, and standardisation and making training programme cost effective. Similarly, it emphasises the need for practicing public-private partnership as a pragmatic solution to make training programmes more meaningful and effective.
In this respect, it points out that since most of the population in the country lives in remote areas, therefore, it would be cost effective to establish technical/vocational training centres at these places. However, it suggests that due to small catchments areas, the needs of these localities would not be enough to warrant establishment of institutions.
“The best way is, therefore, to introduce the concept of community based training,” contains the SDP, recommending that CBT should be sufficiently flexible and technically adequate to train the population of the local areas in the appropriate skills.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has developed SDP to plan the actions needed to improve the skills and employability of its people to create jobs and attain sustainable economic development.
“The plan targets the specific skills development requirements which will allow the province to develop its economy and society,” says the document, which is based on National Skills Strategy (NSS) developed through a national consultative process in 2009.
The increase in its population is duly reflected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s civilian labour force that, according to the SDP document, increased from 6.23 million in 2007-08 to 6.53 million in 2008-09 as per Labour Force Survey of 2008-09.
Unemployment rate for the province at 8.5 percent is significantly higher than the national average of 5.5 per cent, according to the plan.