KPK Government Initiatives for Youth: In 2016 the provincial government unveiled its comprehensive youth policy in a grand ceremony that had an informative session for youth along with other festivities. Adil Saeed Safi Deputy secretary sports and youth affair told the media that:
”History is in making as the first Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Youth Policy is set to be unveiled. It will be for youths and youths only.”
The policy is set to uplift the youth of the province through economic, political and social empowerment. “The policy is based on three pillars i.e. youth development through economic, social and political empowerment. To predict empowering strategies, institutional mechanisms and the action points for multiple public, private and social sector stakeholders working to develop youths in the province,” he said.
Further saying that “in the desired and best case scenario, this youth bulge can serve as a dividend for the nation and youths can become the vehicle for change.”
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Sine he was the one who drafted the policy the said he made sure the government’s desire to use human resource effectively and efficiently through every available means was met with and covered by this comprehensive policy. According to him employing the vast population of youth.
KPK’s Free Provincial Youth Technical Education Scheme (PYTES)
In 2010 Provincial Youth Technical Education Scheme (PYTES) was initiated by a special initiative of the Chief Minister of KPK. This program was set to initially train 1500 youth of the province in various emerging trades and technologies to prepare them for the modern job market both nationally and internationally. This program in the first phase trained a total of 1367 people in different technical institutes and vocational centers. A second phase of this project was approved after the success of the first phase that would train another 1500 youth with a 25 per cent quota for female and yet another phase was approved where 500 students would be trained.
Key objectives of the project are:
- To Train male and female students at selected center of excellence in market and job oriented technologies and trades.
- To equip the youth for rewarding employment either in Public/Private sector or Self-employment.
- To reduce Poverty in the Province.
Digital Economy Development for Youth in KPK
Almost half of Kyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK)’s population that makes around 30.5 million is below the age of 30. Taping this young human resource the KPK government, in 2014, partnered with the World Bank in developing a strategy for the creation of jobs mostly connected to the digital sector. This comprehensive strategy was called the “Digital KP” and it outlined a exclusive program on digital development where youth inclusion was the core objective in digital economy.
List of all Recent KPK Government Initiatives for Youth Development
The strategy identified three building blocks of the digital economy: the supply of a constant availability of skilled force, attracting demand for knowledge workers, and ensuring infrastructure investment are commensurate with knowledge economy needs.
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To address the first point in the chain of developing the digital economy of the province the local government had to create a lot of opportunities to produce skilled work force. For this particular the provincial government combined resources with any willing organization both international and national who could help, initiating programs at different levels to meet the first requirement of this chain towards the development of the local digital economy.
Resultantly, the second phase came to the rescue where this responsibility of producing skilled work force was taken up by different organizations such as the Youth Empowerment Program, which is Pakistan’s first digital skills platform that not only connects interested youth with training opportunities but also provides employment opportunities, using adaptive and flexible approach to accommodate the rapidly changing demands of this particular economy.
Furthermore, there was the Early Age Programming course that was launched in partnership with Elementary and Secondary Education Department focusing on teaching the basic skills at secondary school levels building up skills at an early age. Then there was the Digital Ambassadors Program that also aided the second phase.
This program ensured to provide digital knowledge to underdeveloped areas and to marginalized communities, making sure that no one is left out of the loop of digital development.
The third phase of the chain in this particular development was attracting demand for well learned workers. This next stage is more a challenge to attract investment and growth of digital enabled businesses for the purpose of creating new jobs.
Several ways were identified for the creation of jobs: peer to peer transactions in global market places, linking youth with the emerging domestic demand for digital skills.
Youth development is crucial for a prosperous future of any nation
Here, the KP Government is looking to actively promote the growth of local IT and digital businesses through tax relief, promoting incubation and entrepreneurship in its network of co-working spaces (durshals), and through promoting these in annual tech events, such as the Digital Youth Summit.
Finally, the KP Government’s Information Technology Board has initiated a program to attract investment in IT and digital businesses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Government recently announced a package of support for businesses who invest in KP, including a mix of financial and non-financial incentives, and strong government commitment to the growth of this sector.
Ensuring infrastructure investments are commensurate with knowledge economy needs. The final building block for promoting digital jobs is to ensure the enabling infrastructure supports the knowledge economy. The provincial government is investing in fiber optic networks with private partners, as well as a network of co-working spaces to address gaps in access.
Investments in BPO ready spaces in Peshawar and Abbottabad will attract international and national companies interested in taking advantage of KP’s advantageous costs and talent pool. Finally, the Government has made steps to establish Pakistan Digital City, a 500-acre business ready park, in close proximity to Islamabad.