DFID to provide £38.4m for skill development in Punjab

Lahore : The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) will provide £38.4 million for skills development in the province.

DFID Head in Pakistan Joanna Reid signed the exchange of letters (EOL) in this regard with the Punjab Planning and Development Secretary Iftikhar Ali Sahoo on Tuesday.

Planning and Development Board Chairman Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan and Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) CEO Jawad Khan were also present, an official press release stated. According to the commitment, the funds will be provided for the Skills Development Programme (SDP) being executed by the PSDF. The government will ensure provision of the remaining amount for the programme.

The programme has been conceived in light of the chief minister’s vision to provide employable skills to two million youths by 2018. Under the SDP programme, technical and vocational skills trainings will be provided to a total of 330,000 poor and vulnerable youth, including 40 per cent for women, across all districts of the Punjab. The programme will initially span five years.

“Over 60 per cent of the provincial population comprises under 30-year-olds. One million youngsters enter the workforce every year. By age 15, more than half of all children are out of school,” the statement said.

“There is a dire need for such training programmes to equip the youth with employable skills to enhance their job prospects. Training imparted under the programme will enable the youth to earn livelihood for their families or to improve income of those employed prior to training,” it said.

The PSDF is a not-for-profit company, established in 2010 under the Companies Ordinance 1984 by the government in partnership with the DFID. Until now, the PSDF has funded training of more than 152,000 men and women across the Punjab under its various schemes for skills development.

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