Developing a Skilled Workforce: The Need of the Hour

By Bashaar Hussain

As the popular saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

It is more worthwhile to teach someone to do something for themselves, especially in times of unprecedented economic uncertainty.

The Government of Pakistan revised the minimum wage rate to PKR 25,000 in the month of April and expects the corporate sector to adhere to it.

There is a need to do more as even such an appreciative initiative does not fully offer a sustainable proposition wherein people can reap benefits on a long-term basis.

Technical/vocational training is an aspect that is increasingly coming under focus globally, given the complex nature of technological development in every field.

Skill-based training is crucial, which is supported by the introduction of a skill-based curriculum in the Nordic countries and is also stressed in the educational system in Singapore.

Meanwhile, certain organizations in Pakistan have initiated a strategic solution and are working to ensure a prosperous future for the new generation.

Recently, Hutchison Ports Pakistan, the country’s first deep-water container terminal designed to accommodate mega-ships, recognized this need and capitalized on it by developing a training program in collaboration with The Hunar Foundation.

The partnership aims to impart specialized skills in engineering, mechatronics, and robotics to young aspirants with an aim to increase their livelihoods.

Coming across a video shared on its social media platform, Hutchison Ports Pakistan is fully sponsoring young students for vocational training.

One of the candidates for the training shared his opinion, saying, “Such programs can result in the expansion of the national economy with more and more skilled workers coming into the job market.”

The objective of the program is to enable each individual to become self-sufficient and as a result, earn bread for their families.

The program, running from July-December 2022, is entitled ‘Teach for Tomorrow’ and is in line with Hutchison Ports’ global Dock School initiative.

In this regard, Hutchison Ports Pakistan recently hosted the selected batch of students from The Hunar Foundation. They were given a tour of the port, where they witnessed its operations.

After the completion of this training program, Hutchison Ports Pakistan has further announced internship opportunities for the participants in its Engineering department, which is a testament to their commitment to the technical development of the young generation.

All these efforts are aimed at enabling the youth to have something concrete to offer that can result in their individual growth within the organization, no matter where they work.

This initiative clearly sets an example for the authorities, the corporate sector, and the other relevant stakeholders to invest in solutions that can positively impact our economy for an extended period.

Skill development can help a large segment of Pakistan’s population fulfill the needs of their families, which they are usually deprived of.

Sustainable economies are built by great companies and great companies are built on the shoulders of highly-trained employees.

The writer is a communications professional with a background in journalism and academic training in the Social Sciences.