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Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) organized a contract distribution ceremony for trainings service providers that qualified under its scheme “Employability Skills for Non-Muslim Youth”.

Speaking at the ceremony as chief guest was Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs, Mr. Ijaz Alam Augustine, who outlined the problems that Non-Muslim youth face in Pakistan: poverty, lack of access to education or skills resulting in low paid jobs. He emphasized the need for various stakeholders from the public and private sector to come together and find viable solutions. He commended PSDF, and the training service providers in taking this initiative to improve employability for Non-Muslim Youth in Punjab.

Mr. Ali Akbar Bosan, Chief Operating Officer at PSDF said that the scheme for “Employability Skills for Non-Muslim Youth” represented PSDF’s commitment to provide skills training to vulnerable and marginalized segments of the population. He reiterated that this scheme stemmed from the belief at PSDF that all communities be given equal education, training and economic opportunities.

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This scheme is part of the UMEED (Upskilling Marginalized youth for Employability, Empowerment and Dignity) programme at PSDF, whichis designed to help ease the transition of marginalized communities into mainstream skilled employment opportunities that have a high earning potential. The skills imparted to the youth are in market relevant and demand driven trades, ranging from AutoCAD, Mobile Development and Graphic Design, to Industrial Operators and Beautician. PSDF has actively involved multiple employers, industrial units and formal training institutions to ensure demand driven training and placement. The aim of this scheme is to ultimately train 5,000 Non-Muslim youth, across 17 different districts in Punjab.

Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF)is the largest skills development fund in Pakistan. PSDF was established in 2010 as a not-for-profit company set up under the Companies Ordinance 1984 by the Government of Punjab (GoPb) in collaboration with UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). PSDF also exclusively manages the skills training funding of the World Bank.

PSDF’s purpose is to shape the future and well-being of our poor and vulnerable youth by giving them access to skills training of the highest standard so they can find sustainable employment and income-generating opportunities in Pakistan and beyond.

PSDF started its operations in the 4 poorest districts of Punjab. Since 2016, The geographical remit has expanded to the entire 36 districts of Punjab. PSDF has trained almost 400,000+ underprivileged youth across Punjab, which includes 200,000+ male and 160,000+ female graduates. These graduates have been trained in approximately 250 demand-driven and market relevant trades across 10 sectors.

PSDF has played a leadership role in creating a skills training market with 90% training partners in the private sector. With 400 training partners that deliver training on behalf of PSDF, out of which over 150 are businesses across the 10 sectors. PSDF has adopted an output-based funding mechanism where it funds contract-to-completion outputs as well as completion-to-income generation outcomes.

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