Duration: January 2017 - July 2021
Budget: €63.7 million (EU Contribution €45 million)
Location: Across Pakistan
Implementing Partners: GIZ
The European Union (EU) has been working in the sector of technical education and skills training since 2011. The EU is supporting Pakistan in developing a skilled workforce based on private sector demand. The overarching goal is to increase employment opportunities for Pakistanis, which will lead to greater incomes and ultimately contribute to economic growth.
In Pakistan, 3.5 million young people enter the job market every year. There are roughly 500,000 places available for formal training in about 4,000 training centers across the country, indicating a clear gap between supply and demand. In addition the quality and content of training courses does not often address the skills needed in the job market. To improve this situation, sector-wide reforms are necessary.
How do we address the challenge?
The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Sector Support Programme is working at various levels to strengthen the sector. At the policy level, it is supporting the Government in implementation of the National TVET Policy as well as assessment of training institutes and the quality of certifications. At the institutional level, the project is providing support by updating curricula, training for teachers, examiners and principals and improving the certification system. At the individual level, the project is providing trainings to young men and women across Pakistan.
Crucially, the involvement of employers is ensured at each level. They are involved from the designing of the courses to the execution of the training and eventually also in assessment and examination of trainees. Part of the training is carried out in industry workplaces to provide practical experience to trainees. Sector specific councils are established that include key representatives and employers of a particular sector. The objective is to know about the specific demands of employers in various sectors.
Broader impact/Partnership/Bigger Picture
Through this project, the EU has supported the Pakistan Government in the development and implementation of its "National Skills for All Strategy". Building on this, the government launched its "Hunarmand Pakistan" programme in early 2020 to which it has allocated PKR 9.8 billion.
What can we learn from this project?
To address the problems of the TVET sector, the Government of Pakistan, with the support of the EU and the governments of Germany, the Netherlands and Norway started reforming the sector in 2011. A number of milestones have been achieved over the last decade of continued engagement. These include the formulation of a national TVET Policy, a framework for the qualification of technical and vocational education and introduction of a new system of training whereby trainees are trained to improve their competence. The key lesson of the initial years was the importance of involving the private sector in the training process and decision making. Practical hands on experience was also found to be extremely important to ensure employability of trainees after the training.
EU in Pakistan
The European Union (EU) funds projects and programmes around the world in order to help addressing global and local challenges. The reduction of poverty and the respect of fundamental rights and freedoms are key objectives in this context.
In Pakistan, the EU is committed to a stable, democratic and pluralistic country that respects human rights and benefits from its full economic potential by supporting sustainable and inclusive development for all its citizens. The EU provides Pakistan with about €100 million annually in grants for development and cooperation. Among other issues, the EU supports Pakistan in its efforts to tackle poverty, increase education, promote good governance, human rights, rule of law and ensure sustainable management of natural resources. EU-funded projects are covering all of Pakistan with a special focus on Sindh and Balochistan.
The collaboration between the European Union and Pakistan is grounded in the Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP) signed in 2019. Areas of cooperation under the SEP include peace and security, democracy, rule of law, human rights, and migration but also sectors such as energy, climate change and science and technology.
The EU is one of Pakistan’s largest trading partners. The EU supports Pakistan’s integration into the world economy and its sustainable economic development, namely by granting it preferential access to the European single market under the GSP+ system since 2014. Under this scheme almost 80% of Pakistan’s exports enter the EU duty and quota free. In 2018, Pakistani exports to the EU were worth €6.9 billion.
In order to enjoy the trade preferences under GSP+, Pakistan needs to demonstrate progress on the implementation of 27 international conventions on human rights, good governance, labour rights and environmental protection.
Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan
House 9, Street 88, G-6/3, Islamabad
Phone: +92 51 227 1828, Fax: +92 51 282 2604
To report any irregularities contact us on DELEGATION-PAKISTAN-IRREGULARITIES@eeas.europa.eu