PESHAWAR: To boost youth’s employ-ability with market-oriented skills, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has launched Rs1.4 billion worth development project, “Accelerated Skills Development Program”, for tribal districts.
The government claimed that it is one the largest schemes of the province aimed at increasing the employment rate in newly merged districts.
The program has been designed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and is being funded by the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID). Under the initiative, 5,500 men, women, and transgender persons (18-35 years) will be imparted free technical skills. They will also be connected to enterprises for on-job training across the country.
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Speaking about the initiative, KP Secretary for Industries, Commerce and Technical Education Zulfiqar Ali Shah said, “Tribal youth do not have many opportunities to acquire occupational skills. The Accelerated Skills Development Program is an effort to bridge that gap.”
Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Industries Abdul Karim Khan said, “The KP government introduces interventions that deliver market-driven solutions and boost youth’s employ-ability as well as private sector development in the region.”
While addressing the participants, USAID Deputy Mission Director Michael Nehrbass said, “USAID has a long history of partnering with the KP government with the aim to assist the government in designing and implementing development strategies that improve the quality of life in KP.”
The UNDP Merged Areas Governance Project Program Manager Raluca Eddon emphasized that the scheme will strengthen the female labour force in tribal districts which remains one of the lowest in the country. “The scheme will facilitate women and other marginalized groups in accessing opportunities to acquire skills,” she added.
The Accelerated Skills Development Program will provide free trade and occupation skills in seven sectors – health, agriculture, tourism, information technology, construction, mines and minerals, and services. Courses have been designed to provide both theoretical and practical knowledge to the trainees, with 80% of the syllabi focused on hands-on learning. The program will be implemented in both public and private training institutes that have modern equipment as well as a compatible training infrastructure for the relevant occupation.