Supporting Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform in Pakistan
Title: Supporting technical and vocational education and training (TVET) reform in Pakistan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC)
Overall term: 2017 to 2019
Energy, agriculture, geographical location and a youthful population are just a few of Pakistan’s natural assets. Indeed, young people account for some 60 per cent of this country’s 180-million-strong population. And yet, in spite of these positives, the absence of a skilled workforce means Pakistan is not able to exploit its potential to the full.
The programme’s objective is to improve governance and private sector participation in the technical vocational education and training sector (TVET), with a view to raising the quality of skills development in line with labour market demands.
Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by the European Union, the programme is assisting the Government of Pakistan to reform the TVET sector. Having completed its first phase in December 2016, the programme launched a second 3-year phase in January 2017.
Based on the results achieved during the first phase (2011-16), the programme is currently focusing on four intervention areas across the country:
- Governance and policy formulation. The programme is supporting the implementation of a national TVET policy and facilitating cooperation agreements between the public and private sectors. It is also assisting with the introduction of a quality assurance and accreditation system for the TVET sector.
- Private sector engagement. Besides assisting partner organisations to increase the level of private sector representation in decision-making bodies, the programme is also promoting systematic stakeholder dialogue. In addition, it is supporting the establishment of employer-led Sector Skills Councils and Institute Management Committees.
- Implementation of reformed TVET. This intervention area supports the provision of demand-oriented vocational training to youth throughout Pakistan by promoting on-the-job or work-based training approaches and agreements between training providers and enterprises.
- Human Resources Development/Teacher Training. This area of intervention relates to the implementation of the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) and the delivery of demand-driven vocational courses through Competency Based Training & Assessment (CBT&A). Furthermore, it incorporates in-service and pre-service training for TVET teachers and the establishment of Centres of Competence for teacher training.
Results of the first phase (2011-2016)
- The programme has facilitated the launch of the first-ever national TVET policy and the initial rollout of the National Skills Strategy at federal and provincial/regional levels. A new apprenticeship law has been drafted that aims to encourage private sector participation in TVET delivery. Around 1,200 TVET programmes have already been accredited.
- For the first time, Pakistan now has a National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) to improve the quality and relevance of TVET. NVQF implementation was supported by piloting Competency Based Training & Assessment (CBT&A) in 60 trades through 142 TVET institutes with 20,000 graduates across Pakistan.
- To raise capacity for implementing reform initiatives, 880 senior and mid-career officers and managers from the provincial Technical Education and Vocational Training Authorities (TEVTAs) underwent management skills training. The TEVTAs in Punjab, Sindh and AJK have also attained ISO certification.
- Setting up 18 e-learning centres has enabled some 8,500 TVET teachers to undergo training in pedagogy and didactics. At the same time, a German university has worked with 3 universities in Pakistan to launch a post-graduate study programme designed to produce a new generation of TVET teachers.
- A National Skills Information System has also been set up at the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission. This web-based system provides real-time data for labour market analysis and also regularly connects job seekers with employers.
- Through its support for 36 projects, the Fund for Innovative Training (FIT) has benefited as many as 125,000 men and women. FIT has also helped set up two ‘learning regions’ in The Frontier Region Peshawar and Swat, benefitting some 1,800 people.
- Karachi and Lahore today have a new cooperative vocational training scheme offering courses in 11 technical and commercial trades. With the active involvement of more than 143 multinational and national companies, this scheme has succeeded in training 1,000 young professionals.
- In all, 102 job placement and vocational counselling centres have been set up and 249 officers trained across the country. In addition, ‘Employers of the Year Awards’ have been introduced to ensure that enterprises that deliver vocational training get greater recognition. At the same time, the programme has strengthened dialogue between the public and private sectors. Today, the private sector is on board in terms of TVET policy, planning and delivery.
- Major events, such as the first-ever International TVET Conference Pakistan in September 2016, have been held to increase the visibility of the programme and of the TVET sector as a whole. These events have targeted key players, including politicians, entrepreneurs, opinion leaders (the media) and decision-makers.
- Finally, the programme has also contributed to the development of a donor coordination mechanism for the TVET sector, seeing as – out of all the other donor-backed programmes (e.g. DFID, WB, ILO, etc.) – this programme is the only one that operates nationwide.