European Union supports Shirakat and NCA for Socio-Economic Uplift of low-income youth

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European Union

DNA

Rawalpindi: Shirakat Partnership for Development, a non-governmental organisation, held a press conference at Rawalpindi Press Club this Friday on shortage of skilled workforce to meet industries and business sector demands for adequately skilled human resource.

Youth is 64% of Pakistan population which stands at 241.49 million asper 2023 Population Census. The latest official figures indicated that a significant portion of Pakistan’s working-age population is either unemployed or not actively seeking an employment.  In the wake of the recent economic downturn and inflationary trends,unemployment is expected to rise in the country. 

Shirakat – Partnership for Development, in collaboration with Norwegian Church Aid is implementing a European Union (EU) funded project “‘Power to The Youth’” in Lahore and Rawalpindi districts of Punjab. The project focuses on addressing socio-economic challenges faced by low-income and vulnerable groups. It is pertinent to mention that these challenges are exacerbated due to COVID-19, and the ongoing economic crisis in the country.

Ms. Samina Javed, Manager Programs at Shirakat, emphasized the need to provide Technical and Vocational Skills to the Youth to tackle the youthunemployment issue.  “The challenge of 5.6 million unemployed individuals, and the prevalence of unskilled youth, requires focused efforts to provide skills to the youth for employment opportunities”, she said. She further added, that “Shirakat is providing high-in-demandquality vocational training to 800 youth leaders each in Rawalpindi and Lahore”.

Mr. Khurram Shezad, General Secretary of Hasna Welfare & Development Organisation, appreciated European Union support to vocational training for the youth. He termed thesecrucialfor the youth to avail opportunities to harness their potential in economic development of the country.

Ms. Sobia Mehboob Heading‘Step to Success’ Gujjar Khan, highlighted that the ‘Power to The Youth’provides platforms to the youth to discuss their ideas and solutions to the challenges faced by themselves and their communities. She thanked European Union and NCA for such youth centric initiatives.

Shirakat Partnership for Development, urged the government and private sector to create more opportunities for youth and people with disabilities, aiming to empower them so that they can actively contribute to strengthening the economy. They appreciated NCA and highlighted the importanceofinitiative such as “‘Power to The Youth’ by the European Union.

In addition to skill training, 2,593 female and male youth leaders in Lahore and Rawalpindi have receivedactivism training through ‘Power to The Youth’ project to play role of change agents in their communities.