The unemployment rate in Pakistan was at 4.4% in 2020. The prolonged prevalence of the coronavirus pandemic is expected to further add to this number. The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a blessing in disguise, for developing nations. The need for connectivity during lockdowns has made governments and private-sector employers realize the potential of the internet as a vehicle for not only providing new jobs but also save existing jobs. The Government of Pakistan is also aware of the challenges and potential solution in terms of digitalization. A comprehensive program, “Ehsaas Digital Hunar Programme” is being launched to equip youth with digital skills in order to have maximum chances of employment, as elaborated by Ms. Sania Nishtar.
This programme can prove to be a crucial and strategic intervention for the youth of Pakistan which makes around 60% of the total population of the country. Pakistan has one of the largest youth bulges in the world. Digital skills and remote working will enable the youth to be globally employable. According to the Higher Education Commission, at present, the country’s universities and colleges are turning out 500,000 graduates annually, but some remain unemployable because they lack skills that are in demand in the job market.
The Digital Hunar Programme is being designed to deliver 3 to 6 months of virtual programmes with in-demand market skills and a hundred percent employability for the youth. The programme includes the five resources: curriculum design & development; learning management system; affiliation programme with academia and private institutes; training programme; and freelance portal.
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