The 6th iteration of Telenor Pakistan’s “Open Mind Pakistan” program empowered 20 young, differently-abled trainees who have graduated this year.
The graduation ceremony took place at Telenor Pakistan campus 345. Open Mind Pakistan is a special training program with the objective of enhancing employability of people with disabilities (PwDs) through skills development, mentoring and on-job training.
And now it has been taken a step further with the launch of a comprehensive job portal, known as the “Disability Job Center” (DJC). This will provide a one-stop site for job searchers (differently-abled) as well as job posters.
The Open Mind Pakistan 2019 edition kicked off in January 2019 where 20 candidates were shortlisted for the program after an impartial screening process, specially modified to be accessible for the visual and hearing impaired.
To further empower this initiative, Telenor, in collaboration with Unilever Pakistan and Special Talented Exchange Program (STEP), has designed and launched the all-new job portal which solidifies career sustainability for PwDs and aid in their job-hunting.
The portal is the first of its kind in Pakistan and it enables a large network of potential employers to post selective jobs for special citizens. Other key features include job opportunities, information regarding rights and services, a database of beneficiaries and providers, skills development and training, entrepreneurship, and micro-financing.
Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO at Telenor Pakistan and Head of Telenor Emerging Asia Cluster, said at the graduation ceremony:
It makes us really proud to see how this one-of-a-kind program has now grown into an industry best practice for organizations striving to become more diverse, inclusive, and open-minded. This is one of the many powerful ways how innovatively Telenor Pakistan is pursuing its mission of empowering the Pakistani society and mainstreaming the marginalized segments of its population. I congratulate the graduates of the 6th batch of Open Mind Pakistan and with the launch of the Disability Job Portal; I look forward to seeing increased employment opportunities for the differently-abled.
Executive Director of STEP, Mr. Atif Sheikh said
By following the example we set today, the corporate sector, through continued collaboration with disabled people’s organizations can impactfully contribute towards an inclusive society. These initiatives can be further scaled up through policymaking at the government level.
The Disability Job Center portal will establish awareness and help the differently-abled to identify their skills and apply them to benefit the corporate world as well as their own livelihood. This will create a level-playing field for all and aid the professional progression of individuals based on merit, and not on physical abilities/disabilities.
Under the Open Mind Pakistan program since 2013, 92 extraordinary individuals have been inducted, with 75% of them managing to get employed.