Pakistan Launches World’s First Government Backed Program to Train Freelancers

DigiSkills, Ignite’s flagship program to train 1 million freelancers in Pakistan, has been formally inaugurated by Anusha Rehman, Minister for Telecom and IT on her second last day of ministership ahead of the government’s retirement.

A brainchild of Anusha Rehman, DigiSkills is said to be Minister’s favorite program, as she believes that the program has the potential to single-handedly take the country’s IT exports to over $10 billion in just a few years.

For those who don’t know, DigiSkills is a first of its kind government-backed initiative that aims to train 1 million freelancers in Pakistan.

The program will comprise of online courses, and every Pakistan is invited to enroll in these courses totally free of charge.

Every individual will have to take two courses, one of which would be “freelancing”, while the other can be selected from one the following (with more courses to be added with time):

  • E-Commerce Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • QuickBooks
  • WordPress
  • AutoCAD
  • Creative Writing
  • Graphics Design

With DigiSkills up and running, any Pakistani  — within Pakistan or abroad — can register in any of the above courses to learn the skills to ultimately start offering their services online.

How to Register with DigiSkills

Simply go to this URL to enroll yourself in courses currently available or you can wait until more courses are made available later on.

The “freelancing” course, a must for any aspiring freelancer, will focus on do’s and don’ts of freelancing.

Hisham Sarwar, a freelancer with experience of over 15 years and the top freelancer on for several years running, is going to teach you the tips and tricks of freelancing in the simplest possible way.

In addition to freelancing, you can pick any other course to develop your skills and start offering your freelancing services to the world.

What to Expect from DigiSkills Courses

DigiSkills is similar to Udemy or any other online education institute. Pakistanis will be allowed to enroll for a course, with video-based training/lessons given on a weekly basis.

You can expect quizzes, tests and evaluations during the course. If you follow the course outlines and instructions well, you’ll be well set to tackle any challenge in your field of choice.

Anyone can enroll in a course anytime, regardless of the time or date, and can start learning on a regular basis.

Background of DigiSkills

Online education is not a new phenomenon, however, DigiSkills has the distinction of being the world’s first government program for training freelancers through online courses.

The idea is to impart skills through which people can earn a living for themselves.

With over 54 million internet users in the country, Yousaf Hussain, the CEO of Ignite, thinks that freelancing is Pakistan’s best bet to overcome domestic economic issues.

He thinks that with millions of educated youth and availability of high-speed internet, we just need to train them with the right skills to export services worth billions of dollars.

Yousaf Hussain told ProPakistani that a series of domain experts were consulted to tailor the courses and to make sure that curriculum was in-line with modern day demands while keeping local dynamics in mind.

Program will run for at least two and half years, until it might get extended for another term, depending on the outcome.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • Finally a good step from the government. They should have done it 3-4 years ago, but nonetheless a step in the right direction.

  • I hope they introduce more courses specially 3D animation, Android development, video production and programming.

  • Bhai Paypal kab tk arha hai Pakistan main ? Any Idea ? I wish k main apni Zindagi main Paypal ko Pakistan main dkh sakoon ;(

        • I don’t remember the link but i found this tutorial on YouTube. It works fine but i don’t use it very often.

          • You just have to access paypal using vpn or proxy and pretend you are from other country like UAE or KSA and you can create paypal account and deposit funds using different services but this account will be suspend after some months because paypal will ask you to verify your address. If you have a friend or relative there who can verify address, then you are good to go.

            • No, i don’t use any proxy. Everything is working fine, they ask phone verification if payment exceeds from $10k

    • It’s a piece of cake to get a Paypal account in Pakistan, even you can withdraw money by connecting your Payoneer bank account to Paypal, then withdraw via your Pakistani bank account or Payoneer ATM Mastercard from any ATM machine in Pakistan.

      I have been using in Pakistan with no issue.

      I want to write an article on Propakistani if it’s allowed.

  • All of this means nothing if the banks don’t recognize freelancing as a genuine source of income. I still cannot open an account on the basis of freelancing. I do have an account from a previous job and I used my university’s credentials to open another one, but if someone tries to open an account as a freelancer they’re denied. I checked with SC, Summit Bank, Bank Al Habib, UBL, and all of them have the same issue.

    Let us open accounts and receive the freelancing money in our accounts. It’s not much to ask, I’m not asking the banks to issue credit cards with no limits to freelancers, just basic accounts.

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