Pakistani youth no doubt are the asset of Pakistan as they have ability and hold the potential to build their future and that of their country. Young people posses the vigor to enthusiastically contribute in governance, democratic and socio-economic progress.
It is necessary to empower young citizens and offer them with plentiful chances in order to engage them in social, political and economic affairs of the society as future of a state lies within the hands of youth now.
Presently, the Government of Pakistan plans to use the potential of young labor force through providing dissimilar schemes, which comes under the umbrella of Youth Development Program. An additional approach through the government to create capable labor force is the skill development programs.
Prime Minister of Pakistan has introduced a youth development program in September 2013 with the objective to offer many career opportunities to the youth counting training, skilled education, employment and scholarships so that youth could participate absolutely in their fields. However, under this program, various schemes have been launched like; micro interest free loans, Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan (PYMBL), youth training, youth skill development, fee assistance and PM’s scheme for laptops provision.
POPULATION BY AGE GROUPS (MILLIONS)
PYMBL is a program of the government aimed at socio-economic progress for young youth. The program would give a wide canvas of schemes focused on enabling the youth to obtain employment/career opportunities.
According to the labor force survey FY2014, the total labor force is 60.09 million in Pakistan. Out of this, 3.58 million citizens are unemployed and 56.52 million people are employed. The country being the 6th most populous country globally, with population growth rate of almost 1.92 percent per annum, is adding a great number of people to the labor force. Youth employment has stayed one of the key concerns of the government.
Youth in the country face many disadvantages counting limited job search expertise, a mismatch between aspirations, education and employers’ demands and a lack of mobility, among other factors. More recently the National Assembly was revealed that under the PM’s youth business loan scheme, loans have so far been sanctioned for 15,637 borrowers and disbursement made to 6,176.
Finance Ministry said that the scheme is being implemented by nine commercial banks and major disbursements have so far been made by National Bank and First Women Bank Ltd. (FWBL). FWBL is an active participant in PM’s youth business loans for women. The Bank has so far disbursed loans to 62.5 percent of the successful candidates. It is said that Habib Metro Bank, Summit Bank and Sindh Bank, have adopted the PMYLS, while dialogue with MCB and UBL was under process.
Presently, Meezan Bank has officially launched a set of financing schemes to provide Shariah-compliant financing under PYMBL program with an aim to support the economy. Under these program, financing would be obtainable to eligible youth under 4 key sections comprising of micro enterprise, small entrepreneur, transport finance (car ijarah) and agriculture finance (tractor ijarah). On the other hand, Al Baraka Bank (Pakistan) Limited also fruitfully introduced PYMBL Scheme at with a commitment to offer business financing to youth under Shariah compliance principles.
Interest free loan scheme
The Government of Pakistan is also determined to offer opportunities to the citizens so that they could play their major role in national growth. For this purpose, government has offered an option to the young youth to organize their own enterprises by PM’s interest free loan scheme.
Youth training scheme
Under this scheme, young individuals with 16-year of education from recognized institutions would be given on job training/internships at public and private sector offices. National Internship Program Office placed 3,349 interns in phase-V (2012). While in April this year the last batch has completed internship. During FY2014-15 Rs70 million were allocated for stipend to interns of National Internship Program. Almost a sum of Rs3,146,710/- expenditure incurred as of April 2015.
Youth skill development scheme
The government is paying greater attention for the empowerment of youth in Pakistan and introduced PM’s youth skill development program-2014, which is being implemented through NAVTTC. This program aims to produce 25,000 skilled workforce to commensurate with needs of domestic and global market. The duration of this program is 3 to 6 months and 21,934 trainees have completed their training. In order to attain the goal of 25,000 trainees, more training programs have been started in March, 2015.
Fee reimbursement scheme
This scheme was productively executed and is continued for FY2014-15. Reimbursement of fee to almost 50,000 students of less developed regions is being carried out this year.
Provision of laptop scheme
The objective of this scheme is to improve the scope of research and quality education and grow the access to information technology (IT). For this purpose the Government of Pakistan has distributed 55,697 laptops as of April 2015 among students studying in public sector universities to improve their research capabilities.