Alight Pakistan, in collaboration with Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) has launched skills-based training programmes for unemployed and uneducated youth in the country from autumn 2020 semester. This collaborative partnership is aimed at capacity building of the out-of-school children, illiterate, and unemployed youth in Pakistan.

In the first phase, two skills-based training programmes i.e. designing, cutting, stitching and entrepreneurship for girls and masonry for boys have been launched in Gilgit and Skardu. The primary objective of providing opportunity to the youth of these areas is to train local communities as the workforce for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Highlighting the significance of partnership on the opening of the skills-based centers in Skardu, AIOU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Zia ul-Qayyum said that this much-needed step would help empowering the youth with education and literacy. He said that AIOU, besides working for promotion of education was taking significant steps to provide skill-based training to both educated and uneducated youth of the country. He hoped that this initiative would be very helpful for the people of Gilgit and Baltistan as main stakeholders of the CPEC.

Dr. Tariq Cheema, Country Representative, Alight Pakistan, said the provision of an integrated model of education to improve literacy and skills development among the children of 10 to 16 years of age was the need of the hour. “The initiative is the right step in the right direction with key focus on skills development, literacy and entrepreneurship among youths,” he added.

AIOU regional offices would serve as the centers for these trainings and all the administrative, technical and professional support would be provided by both AIOU and Alight. The content of courses would be provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and AIOU would develop these courses and deliver them through LMS so that participants could benefit from different resources, OERs and be connected with experts from Pakistan and abroad.

Details about courses, training centers, eligibility criteria, and admission form can be obtained from AIOU website (www.aiou.edu.pk) from 15th of September onwards.

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