April 01, 2019
ISLAMABAD - The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has urged the government to take serious notice of the country’s human capital deficiency by focusing on re-skilling, digitization, and technological advancements to gain a competitive advantage in the next phase of CPEC.
“CPEC is expected to generate significant avenues of employment for the domestic labor force, especially after the establishment of the proposed Special Economic Zones (SEZs). However, as this development takes shape, the job requirements would gradually become more demanding,” the second quarterly report 2018-19 on “The State of Economy” published by the SBP said.
The report stressed the need to improving the level of human capital in the economy to ensure that both the existing and the incoming labor force is skilled enough to meet the growing technical requirements of the evolving nature of work. The report proposed that a significant overhaul of the education system of the country is required to address the dearth of adequately skilled graduates entering the labor force. The effectiveness of the primary education needs to be enhanced significantly in order to improve the level of knowledge-absorption and increasing the level of enrollment in schools. Of equal importance is the need for revising the curriculum of academic institutions to better reflect the needs of current and future occupations. Focus on vocational and skill training of the workforce is critical in ensuring that the employability levels of the domestic workers remain intact, or ideally increase, during the transitional stage of job transformation and technical advancement.
It added that a welcome development in this regard is that the Chinese firms are already involved in technical skill building of the Pakistani youth to enable them to be prepared for work under the CPEC programmes. This includes emphasis on vocational training (such as the construction of Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute at Gwadar), scholarships and exchange programs for university and college students as mentioned in the Joint-Statement, and collaborative efforts with Pakistani technological platforms (such as the AliBaba eFounders Fellowship program with NIC Karachi). It added that an encouragement development is that the NAVTCC of Pakistan is in the process of introducing officially defined skill-set categorizations to help improve the placement and skill matching in the domestic labour market.