Chief Minister Balochistan, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, Gulmina Bilal, diplomats from European Union and German Embassy attending the NAVTTAC seminar: Photo provided by the NAVTTAC

Syed Ali Shah: 

QUETTA: The landscape of Balochistan is set for a transformative shift as a wave of skill development initiatives takes root, spearheaded by the Prime Minister Youth Skill Development Program. With 8,873 young individuals currently enrolled in the first batch, this program is poised to equip the youth with essential skills for a brighter future. This initiative is more than just numbers; it symbolizes hope and opportunity for a region often overlooked. Chief Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti stated, “This program is a beacon of hope for our youth. It signifies our commitment to providing them with the tools they need to shape a prosperous future for Balochistan.”

Gulmina Bilal addressing the NAVTTC launching event

Fostering Inclusion and Support through UNHCR Program

Complementing this effort, the UNHCR program has also taken significant strides in fostering inclusion and support for Afghan refugees. Among its 196 trainees, 70% are Afghan refugees, and 30% hail from the host community. This blend not only enhances skill levels but also promotes social cohesion, a crucial step towards a harmonious and prosperous community. Chief Minister Bugti emphasized, “By integrating Afghan refugees and our local community, we are not just imparting skills but also fostering unity and mutual growth. This initiative underscores the spirit of inclusivity and cooperation that is vital for our progress.”

Dignitaries in the honor of national anthem

Recognizing and Validating Existing Skills

In a significant move towards recognizing and validating existing skills, the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) initiative has certified 269 skilled laborers in May 2024. This certification acknowledges their expertise and opens doors to better employment opportunities, thus uplifting the skilled workforce of Balochistan.

Elevating Technological Prowess with Summer of Code

Looking ahead, the Summer of Code program is set to elevate the region’s technological prowess. The National Testing Service (NTS) will conduct a test on June 23, 2024, to select approximately 600 trainees for an International IT certification program. This initiative not only aims to enhance the digital skills of the youth but also to position Balochistan as a burgeoning tech hub.

Empowering Women through SheFixes Program

Additionally, the SheFixes program, another remarkable initiative led by NAVTTC Chairperson Gulmina Bilal, focuses on empowering women through skill development. Scheduled for June 23, the test by NTS will pave the way for more women to enter the technical field, breaking stereotypes and fostering gender equality.

Launching High-Impact Training in Educational Institutions

Balochistan’s educational institutions are also embracing this change. By August 2024, 13 colleges will launch high-impact training courses in Data Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, and Cloud Computing. These courses will ensure that students are well-versed in cutting-edge technologies, preparing them for the demands of the modern job market.

Transformative Potential Highlighted by Leadership

Gulmina Bilal, the driving force behind these initiatives, emphasized the transformative potential of these programs: “NAVTTC has opened new vistas of opportunities in Balochistan. Our focus is to empower the youth with skills that are not just relevant today but will shape the future.”

Support and Recognition from the European Union

The significance of these developments was further highlighted by Chief Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti during the launch of NAVTTC’s new initiatives in collaboration with the European Union. He remarked, “These initiatives are a testament to our commitment to the youth of Balochistan. By imparting skill and technical education, we are building a foundation for sustainable growth and prosperity.”

A Shared Vision for a Resilient Workforce

The collaboration with the European Union underscores the international support and recognition of these efforts. It reflects a shared vision of uplifting Balochistan through education and skill development, fostering a resilient and capable workforce.

A Future Brimming with Opportunities

In summary, these programs represent a beacon of hope for the youth of Balochistan. With strategic leadership and collaborative efforts, Balochistan is on a path to becoming a hub of skilled professionals, driving economic growth and social progress. The initiatives by NAVTTC, supported by local and international partners, are set to transform the region, offering its youth a future brimming with opportunities and success.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.