Islamabad: ILO, UNDP and UNFPA jointly arranged a National workshop titled “Contemporary Issues of Youth employment in Pakistan” here today. The workshop was arranged in the backdrop of high priority given to youth employment issues in the upcoming International Labour Conference in Geneva in June 2012.
Students, civil society organizations representatives, stakeholders, professionals, scholars and media people attended the workshop. The workshop consisted of three sessions. An Inaugural Session attended by UN heads of agency, Government Officials, and around 150 participants to set a foundation for deliberations. The Technical Session comprised of three separate but parallel panel discussions on different themes by national and international experts and selected policy makers. This session focused on youth development and employment issues and identifying solutions.
Key recommendations of the workshop included; give voice, visibility and sense of involvement to young women and men in the national, provincial and local development planning; promote job-rich investment programmes and create more and better jobs through an inclusive economic growth model; use youth employment as a leverage to prevent social disintegration and converting threats into opportunities; ensure timely collection and availability of comprehensive national data; improve education attainment; smooth transition from school-to-work; better career counseling & vocational guidance and respect for employment contracts. The workshop also emphasized to cease the opportunity of having a democratic government in the country, recent devolution of powers, emerging rule of law and economic transition in the country and use it for creating more and better jobs for young women and men. The workshop also emphasized on adopting an inclusive model where divides on basis of sex, ethnicity, language, or any other bases should be removed and institutions should reach out to the most excluded and vulnerable groups on priority basis.
The closing session chaired by Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan reviewed the crux of the situation and recommendations and discussed ways and means to tackle the issue of youth employment. Closing session was also attended by Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Federal Secretary Ministry of Professional & Technical Training, Mr. Timo Pakala, UN Resident Coordinator Pakistan, Mr. Francesco d’Ovidio, Country Director ILO, Mr. Toshihiro Tanaka, Country Director UNDP, Mr. Rabbi Royan, Country Representative UNFPA, Mr. Matthieu Cognac, Youth Employment Specialist, ILO and other prominent figures.
Addressing the occasion, the chief guest Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan appreciated the efforts of ILO, UNDP and UNFPA for jointly arranging the workshop and said that this workshop and subsequent support from UN can provide the Government with invaluable support for addressing youth issues in the country.
The Minister said that the Government of Pakistan People’s Party has always worked for the betterment and uplift of youth in the country. She said that the government, in line with the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, has always strived to create employment opportunities for the people, especially the youth, in the public sector. She said that the government has always encouraged and helped the private sector in launching initiatives for provision of employment to the young. She also mentioned the various initiatives launched by the Benazir Income Support program for providing employment and self-employment opportunities to the youth.
Earlier, the federal secretary for Professional and Technical Education Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhary briefed the workshop about the work done by the ministry for uplift of youth especially the initiatives launched by the four provincial governments.
Mr. Francesco d’Ovidio, Country Director ILO talked about the latest situation of youth and employment realities in reference to Pakistan. He also iterated the need for quick and comprehensive action in line with the recommendations of this workshop and explained the context of the workshop.
During the workshop, participants actively participated in the session and gave precious feedback.
For further information please contact
Dr Muhammad Saifullah Chaudhry, Senior Programme Officer, ILO Office for Pakistan
Tel.: +92 51 2276456-8, Ext 235