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Job generation

THERE seems to be no viable and concrete government plan in the of fing to generate 10 million jobs in five years. The of ficial unemployment rate in Pakistan is 5.2pc.

According to an estimate, 4.70 million people are unemployed.

The public sector does not have the capacity to absorb such a massive unemployed workforce. Even if ef forts are made to adjust the unemployed workforce in the public sector beyond its optimal capacity, it will give rise to many economic problems like lethargy, inefficiency and misuse of economic resources.

A major part of the problem can be resolved with the assistance of the industrialsector.This sectoris providing jobs to 3.5m people, that is 20.9pc of the GDP against the public sector, which has so far been able to absorb about 2.8m people.

Barring a few high-tech capital-intensive industries, which need highly qualified white-collar workers, the majority of industries need less qualified blue-collar workers.

However, a win-win situation can be created for all important three stakeholders employers (industries), the government and the employees.

Arrangements can be made by the government with the industrial sector to provide hands-on skills to unskilled and unemployed youths in relevant industries.

In lieu of this, the government may provide certain concessions like tax holidays to industries which are willing to extend cooperation.

On having achieved proficiency in relevant skills, millions of workers can be employed by industries without any extra financial squeeze on the government`s cof fer. Industries can get skilled manpower and people can get employment without putting extra training hours. Highly skilled workers can play a pivotal role in the production of additional goods, thereby enhancing capital formation to subsequently increase economic growth.

Muhammad Nadeem Butt Director, National Vocational & Technical Training Commission Islamabad