One of the primary users of labor market information, certainly among others, is the education and training system, as it plays a key role in matching the supply and demand for educated and skilled manpower in the medium and long term. Yet, at present very little meaningful feedback is available from the existing labor market information systems to the education and training institutes. In addition, almost no guidance and counseling is available to the job seekers at the micro level. The guidance and employment counseling programs run by the Provincial Directorates and departments are still in their infancy in terms of coverage and availability of personnel. Scant attention has so far been paid to labor market analysis and the information available in this field is inadequate and fragmented.
The overall capacity of the existing vocational training institutions to cater the need of the growing skill demand is very low. Currently, there are 3257 TVET institutions, with an enrollment capacity of 313200 students, whereas the Labor Force Survey for the year 2012-13 states the number for new labor market entrants at 2319528. In order to provide avenues for employment and productivity to the new labor market entrants as well as the existing unemployed, quality education and appropriate skills training assume crucial importance.
The state of education and the number of TVET institutions is certainly not encouraging. Despite being crucial, the education and training system not comprehensively responding to the market demand for educated and trained workers. Besides raising the quality and quantity of education, it is imperative to enhance the competence of the workforce through effective and targeted technical and vocational training, so we can successfully respond to the challenges of globalization, in a manner that sustains economic growth and raises the competitiveness of the workforce over time
The numerous issues confronting in the delivery of TVET reforms are; i) the TVET curriculum and set up is not demand-driven, which creates a mismatch between the skills imparted through TVET programs and the skills required in the market.; ii) there is an overlap and duplication in the curricula which essentially wastes the common national resources; iii) among the multitude of training providers there is lack of coordination and standardization in the curriculum, outdates curricula, quality of instruction, and accreditation mechanisms; iv) quality is usually compromised as the institutes are just focused on getting larger numbers of students out irrespective of the quality of skills these students have post-training; v) the TVET reforms up to date have completely bypassed the informal sector, which is problematic as a majority of the workforce in Pakistan is employed in the informal sector; vi) the system lacks autonomy and flexibly, which makes it harder to adjust to the needs of the changing demands of the local and global employers. vii) despite a large unemployed labor force in the rural areas, the location of TVET institutes in rural areas is quite inadequate. Moreover, little attention is given to the development and enhancement of skills required to serve the agricultural sector, domestic commerce and the cottage industries in rural areas. Lastly, there is still a significant number of Tehsils that do not have any TVET institution (it would help to know how many tehsils)
Overseas migration of the workforce has been an important dimension in addressing employment and development issues. Over 7.07m Pakistani workers went abroad for work during 1971-2013. In 2013, many doctors, engineers and other professionals have been going abroad, their number nevertheless remains small. Overseas migrants are largely production workers; semi-skilled and skilled. Wages of such workers are disproportionally low compared with technical and professional workers. The need for preparing suitably trained and qualified professionals is clearly warranted. Further, over 50 countries of destination notwithstanding, Saudi Arabia and UAE remain the two largest receiving countries for Pakistani migrant workers.
The promotional objective of the manpower export in a safe and secure manner can be achieved through a number of measures but one area which needs urgent attention is the establishment of NATIONAL SKILLS INFORMATION SYSTEM CELL. An effort has been made by NAVTTC to establish “National Skills Information System (NSIS) in order to provide demand driven workforce as per the requirement of the industry /employer and the greater employability of TVET graduates under TVET Reform Support Program (being implemented by GIZ) with the following main objectives:
- To develop / provide a reliable Skills Information System for demand driven workforce development;
- To provide timely and accurate information on demand and supply analysis, to TVET planers, training institutions, industry, academia, students and public in general;
- To establish and facilitate career / vocational guidance and placement services for TVET graduates and potential employers.
This system no doubt will play an effective role in domestic labor market but it needs to be linked with international labor market giving access to NSIS database. International recruiters and employers of the labor importing countries must use NSIS platform for their job posting. Membership of International employment federations like WAPES and CIETT must be obtained for exploring maximum opportunities. This will not only enhance the understanding of employers about Pakistan, its labor and training programs but open new avenues for manpower export.
Furthermore, NAVTTC must device a mechanism of enacting a rule which will not only help in compiling data of skilled human capital in Pakistan but also certainly will give best picture to the policy makers to make effective policies at national level. As discussed earlier in the previous sections about the tracer studies, it may be taken account that by enacting few rules can help in developing perfect skill information system at national. The propose law changes may be read as under:
- Any public or private employment seeker must have registration number of NAVTTC (NSIS);
- Employers must send copy of the vacancies advertised to NAVTTC( NSIS) and give preference to the workforce registered with NAVTCC(NSIS);
- Employers must give employment to those having NAVTTC (NSIS) registration number and send copy of notification/orders to NAVTTC (NSIS).
NAVTTC as an apex body must consider above mentioned law changes. These changes will enable NAVTTC to keep track of: i) the available skilled workforce, ii) how many are graduating? Iii) what do employers want? iv) how can mismatches in the labor market be reduced? and; v) who is employed where. By Mansoor Zaib Khan
Do you have information you wish to share with PakistanTribe.com? Email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or narrative to share. Follow PakistanTribe on Twitter Follow @PakistanTribe and Join us on Facebook