Pakistan’s weak economy makes life tough for its people. Since it is mostly men who are the sole bread earners of the family, it puts a strain on the resources and makes it difficult for the family to cover all their basic needs. Sometimes, there isn’t enough food, and it’s also tough to afford to send the kids to school.
Ensuring that families can meet all their basic needs can be achieved through a straightforward solution: skill development. While many kids from underprivileged families may be unable to get a proper education due to the lack of funds, skill development is far less expensive, making it an affordable and viable solution.
Challenges Faced By The Underprivileged Youth
According to the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, over 31% of Pakistan’s youth are currently unemployed, with many of them holding professional degrees. This situation isn’t solely the result of a struggling economy; it also stems from the limited access to training opportunities for young people to prosper and develop.
Despite its importance, skills development in Pakistan faces several challenges.
A major challenge lies in the availability of good education, which is often lacking. Many Pakistanis lack access to quality education, limiting their skill-building opportunities. Addressing this issue requires investment in schools, teachers, and educational resources.
Another pressing problem within Pakistan’s educational system is the disconnect between the curriculum and the demands of the job market, leading to a skills gap. There is a need for collaboration between educational institutions and industries to design courses that prepare students for real-world challenges.
In addition to these challenges, women encounter extra barriers to skills development because of cultural norms and limited opportunities.Empowering women with relevant skills can have a transformative impact on society. As more women become part of the formal economy, the more it grows and elevates people out of poverty.
Vocational and technical training is also limited, hindering the development of practical skills necessary for various trades and professions.
Pakistan grapples with substantial unemployment rates, particularly among its youth demographic. Since it has a large and growing population, creating enough jobs to meet the demand is a significant challenge.
Developing a skilled workforce ensures that individuals have the capabilities needed to secure gainful employment, reducing unemployment rates and poverty levels.
When an adequate number of job opportunities are established, it can also alleviate the strain on social welfare systems and promote economic stability.
Skill development is a key factor in helping individuals escape poverty by equipping them with the necessary tools and abilities to improve their economic prospects.
Learning valuable skills makes people more appealing to employers. It helps them land stable, better-paying jobs, which in turn boosts their income and helps them break free from poverty.
But that’s not all. Learning new skills can also give people the power to kickstart their own businesses or work for themselves. When you have the know-how to run a successful business, it means you can make money on your terms, and that’s a big step towards financial independence.
Entrepreneurship And Innovation
Skill development programs expose individuals to various industries, sectors, and disciplines. This exposure helps them identify gaps and opportunities in the market where innovative solutions or new businesses could thrive.
People with skills are also more inclined to kickstart their own businesses and spark innovation. This can result in the birth of new products, services, and industries, spurring economic diversity and growth. Ultimately, this leads to improved living standards for families.
Promoting Gender Equality
One of the key aspects of skill development is economic empowerment.
By allowing women to acquire new skills and enhance existing ones, we enable them to enter the workforce confidently!
This boosts their earning potential and narrows the wage gap between men and women. When women have economic empowerment, they gain more control over their lives and choices, which promotes independence and helps break free from traditional gender roles.
As women acquire skills in various fields, they become better equipped to take on leadership positions in previously male-dominated industries. This diversity in leadership brings different perspectives, challenges stereotypes, and encourages other women to pursue similar roles.
Meet Ayesha: From Struggles to Success Through Skill Development
Ayesha’s journey from poverty to self-sufficiency is a shining example of how skill development can transform lives. Born and raised in one of the city’s overcrowded and underserved neighborhoods, Ayesha faced numerous challenges in her early years.
After completing her basic education, Ayesha found herself at a crossroads. Job opportunities were scarce, and she knew she needed special skills to break free from poverty. Fortunately, a local non-governmental organization (NGO) had set up a vocational training center in her neighborhood, offering sewing and garment-making courses.
With a spark of determination, Ayesha enrolled in the sewing program.
As her skills improved, Ayesha began to see a glimmer of hope. She started taking small orders from friends and neighbors, stitching clothes, and earning a modest income.
This newfound income allowed her to contribute to her family’s expenses and provide essentials for her siblings.
A turning point came when Ayesha’s work caught the attention of a local boutique owner.
Impressed by her craftsmanship, the boutique owner offered Ayesha a part-time position to create unique, custom-made garments. With her foot in the fashion industry door, her income began to grow steadily.
Over time, Ayesha’s reputation as a skilled tailor spread throughout her community. The income from her tailoring work helped her family escape the clutches of poverty and allowed her to invest in further skill development.
She opted to enroll in business management and marketing courses. Equipped with these skills, she started advertising her services on social media and in nearby markets. Her business thrived, eventually leading her to establish her own small sewing workshop.
Today, Ayesha’s workshop is a hub of creativity and entrepreneurship. She employs other women from her neighborhood, providing them with opportunities for skill development and a source of income. Ayesha’s success story inspires many, showing that it’s possible to rise above poverty and create a better future with determination, skill development, and hard work.
What Can Be Done?
Karachi, a metropolitan city, has all the opportunities the youth needs to grow. However, what we need is proper education and training.
Establishing and promoting vocational training centers can equip individuals with technical skills for specific trades, such as carpentry, plumbing, and electric work.
Online platforms can play a significant role in skill development and expanding educational access, particularly in remote areas. Designing programs that cater to the specific needs of women and facilitating their entry into diverse sectors can help bridge the gender gap in skills development.
The government can also play a pivotal role by investing in education, providing subsidies for vocational training, and promoting skill development programs.
Learning new skills is like planting the seeds of success.
As you grow these skills, you’re turning learning into earning. With the right skills, you’re not just getting a job but setting yourself up for a fantastic career and a bright future. By investing in skill development initiatives, we can harness the full potential of our population and pave the way for a brighter future for the youth.