“It is high time that female youth acquire skill education and emerge as an active workforce of the country, which is direly needed in today’s competitive job market. Vocational education along with conventional education will equip girls with the much-needed skills and will help them get decent employment in fields other than the conventional fields that are so far being occupied by the female workforce in this country.”
This was stated by Sindh Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority Regional Director Syed Kamal Mustafa while inaugurating the Job Fair & Skill Show 2019 at the Government College of Technology (Girls), Karimabad.
Being the oldest technical institute of Karachi, the GCTG Karimabad provides a three-year Diploma of Associate Engineers in various trades, including food technology, garments, electronics and architecture. But last year, contrary to its tradition, it offered short courses to the students.
The Job Fair & Skill Show was arranged for the girls of the college, who were trained in four short duration trades vis-à-vis IT office assistant, IT computer operator, hospitality cook and textile dress making.
One hundred students were trained in these four trades under competency-based education method, in which they took five-month training in the college and then did their one-month internship in the real industry environment.
Industry visits, guest lectures and career counselling sessions during their coursework improved their confidence and removed their initial fear of working in the industry. These courses were part of a special training fund for Sindh and Balochistan that was set up by the TVET Sector Support Programme, funded by the European Union and the governments of Germany and Norway, to prepare young people for the labour market.
The fund supports training institutes to develop and provide tailor-made programmes for enterprises. The objective is to facilitate the training of 18,000 men and women in Sindh and Balochistan and assist them in finding employment after graduation.
Many renowned industries of Karachi had set up their stalls at the job fair to directly interact with the passed-out students of these courses and conducted their interviews for any jobs available in their respective organisations according to the skills of the students.
As one of the industry representatives put it: “Such job fairs are the best opportunity for the employers to look for employees according to their needs, instead of going through a long procedure of advertising and selecting the candidates. The data bank of such students should be shared with the industry who can directly contact educational institutes to provide them their required workforce. They can also tell the institutes about any skills which they will require in the future so that the institutes can equip their students accordingly.”
After the inauguration of the job fair, the chief guest visited various stalls and saw the dresses and food items produced by the students. In the end, the girls showcased their own designed dresses in the fashion show, which was held in the auditorium of the college. The dresses received great applause from the audience, which included college faculty teachers, students and their families.