PSDF UK impact bond jobs

Pakistan-UK Collaboration for First Ever Employment Bond to Give Jobs to 40,000 Individuals

The British Asian Trust together with leading British Asian business leaders and the Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) has signed a landmark agreement at the British Deputy High Commission in Karachi.

The signing formalized their partnership to build Pakistan’s first Employment Impact Bond and was hosted by Martin Dawson, Deputy Head of Mission.

The human capital constraint is a critical factor for Pakistan’s slow economic growth and low global competitiveness. With over four million youth becoming working-age in Pakistan each year, equipping them with future-ready skills can serve as a powerful driver for economic advancement in the country.

he Employment Impact Bond is being designed to ensure 40,000 jobs for young people in key growth sectors and drive a focus on long-term employment outcomes while unlocking new capital to fund social impact in Pakistan.

Impact bonds are innovative financing instruments that leverage private sector capital and expertise for development, with a focus on achieving results. They shift the focus from inputs to outcomes, performance, and results through financial incentives.

Global interest in this initiative has already led to the British Asian Trust and PSDF being awarded design funding from the Outcomes Accelerator created by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and UBS Optimus Foundation and managed by Levoca. The design of the impact bond will draw on successful examples from global contexts and will benefit from the British Asian Trust and PSDF’s shared expertise in innovative finance and skilling.

Kamyla Marvi, British Asian Trust Pakistan Director, said, “This partnership with PSDF marks a significant milestone in our efforts to drive employment for the youth of Pakistan. We are excited to bring international expertise to support the local design of the country’s first impact bond for employment. We genuinely believe that this is an opportunity to transform the approach to development finance in Pakistan leading to greater innovation, efficiency and scale.”

At the signing ceremony, Ali Akbar Bosan, COO PSDF, said, “This pioneering initiative represents a revolutionary approach to funding skills training, set to transform the landscape of skilled workforce development. The feasibility study will evaluate the potential impact, scalability, and financial viability of the Employment Impact Bond, laying the foundations for future programs. This first-of-its-kind venture in Pakistan is our commitment to innovative solutions that address the pressing need for skilled labor, promising a significant shift in how skills training programs are financed and implemented.”

PSDF and Export Development Fund(EDF) Contract Signing.

Punjab Skills Development Fund and Export Development Fund (EDF) have signed a partnership agreement for a skills training program to help boost exports in the textile sector, particularly in ready-made garments and knitwear.

The project titled “Export Growth Program in the Readymade Garments and Knitwear Industry” is funded by Export Development Fund (EDF) with trainings in related trades being implemented across Punjab and Sindh via PSDF. During the first year 2023-24, PSDF will train 6,500 trainees in knitwear and readymade garments sector including 20% female trainees. The trainees will receive the necessary hands-on practical training that industries require. Post course completion, 50% of trained individuals will be offered employment in those industries engaged in exporting textiles. The first batch of graduates are expected to be ready for employment in September 2023.

At the signing ceremony Mr Abbas Mehdi, Executive Director EDF said that the export potential of Pakistan’s textile sector can benefit greatly with this partnership as the right skilled resources matched with jobs is exactly what industry needs. Ali Akbar Bosan COO PSDF said that the partnership aims to increase exports through provision of skilled labor on the latest approved curricula to keep the workforce updated.

The main outcome of this project will be provision of skilled manpower to exporting textile sector, in particular to industrial associations like Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) and Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) to help scale exports.

PSDF and LWMC Sign MOU to Provide Skills Training for Children of LWMC Staff

PSDF and LWMC have signed a multi-layered MOU under which they will collaborate to provide technical and vocational trainings in and around Lahore to the eligible children of LWMC staff that fall within PSDF’s mandate.

PSDF will provide skills training to LWMC staff’s children including customized programs for women and non Muslim youth, by reserving up to 10% of its seats for its ongoing skilling programs with training service providers exclusively for LWMC staff’s children. This will help them get prepared for income generation in job markets, self-employment & entrepreneurship. The skills trainings trades range from traditional skills to information technology and are designed on the latest approved curricula. In the second stage of the MOU, LWMC will collaborate with PSDF to fund whole training schemes exclusively for the eligible children of LWMC staff to help uplift worker communities in and around Lahore.

At the signing ceremony, COO PSDF said “Partnering with LWMC to help break the cycle of poverty in marginalized communities is a core mandate of PSDF, and we are proud to be working with the team to manage this change and help uplift the lives and financial independence of communities”. Babar Sahab Din, CEO LWMC said “the skilling partnership is all about helping the families of our staff and employees in Lahore to develop economically. We have a huge task ahead of us and this is the right step to integrate and grow our communities. ”

PSDF and PARCO Sign MOU on delivering technical training to uplift communities in Muzzafargarh, DG Khan Division


PSDF, Pakistan’s largest skills fund, and PARCO, the largest fully integrated energy company in Pakistan’s corporate sector have signed an MOU under which they will collaborate to provide high-end technical trainings to the local communities residing near PARCO’s Mid Country Refinery in Muzzafargarh under PARCO’s CSR program.

PSDF will provide specific skills training to unskilled youth – including customized programs for women and non muslim youth – to help them get prepared for income generation, self-employment & entrepreneurship through both onsite skills delivery mechanisms as well as through Hybrid and Digital delivery models. The skills trainings trades range from Agriculture and Livestock to Information Technology and are designed on the latest approved curricula.

PARCO has been a front-runner of Corporate Social Responsibility in local communities, supporting self-reliance capabilities amongst the Pakistani youth. PARCO and its subsidiaries have been helping many well-known institutions working in the area of vocational trainings during the past several years.

At the signing ceremony, the COO PSDF said “We are delighted to be partnering with PARCO, one of the Nation’s biggest suppliers of energy requirements as it is a testament to their trust in PSDF to help uplift the lives and financial independence of communities”.  Nadeem Chishti, GM PARCO said “the skilling partnership is all about helping communities near our facilities in DG Khan develop economically. We are steadfast in our commitment to our CSR agendas”


Post-Coursera Graduation Ceremony

Congratulations to PSDF’s online graduates!

On 22 March PSDF held a special graduation and certification distribution ceremony for students of its online learning skills trainings under the Coursera by PSDF program which is part of PSDF| e-tayyar, PSDF’s partnership with Coursera is unique as it is the only collaboration with the world’s largest e-learning platform. PSDF has graduated 1000 students who successfully completed their specializations in digital skills across the domains of Digital Marketing, Finance, and IT readying our youth for the digital economy. The specializations chosen by PSDF were specially curated to bring the most in demand market skills to the youth of Punjab.

We had students from all over Punjab on and offline attend the ceremony, we are proud of PSDF graduates, online learning can be a challenging process but with the determination of our students and the support system PSDF has put in place through its dedicated Hunar call centre to motivate and to address any online learning challenges of its learners has helped us reach this milestone.

MOU Signing with Lahore School of Economics

PSDF and LSE launched a pilot Digital Skilling Program to train female students at Government Colleges.

PSDF and LSE have created an innovative pilot Digital Skilling Program that aims to understand how Pakistan’s female citizens can be best encouraged to participate in the workforce. In this pilot training program students from select government colleges will be given access to digital courses on Coursera (the world’s largest e-learning platform) to learn in demand professional skills in the current job market.

This pilot program is different from others of its kind because it will engage both the female students and their parents to understand some of the barriers to why parents may choose not to invest in daughter’s education and identify relevant issues that prevent girls from taking up skills training programs.

The pilot program is part of PSDF’s program areas Uraan and e-tayyar which aim to implement crucial digital skills that increase women’s confidence, access to skills that increase their employability. The partnership with Lahore School of Economic (LSE) is to conduct research and create evidence-based development programs that will accelerate the socio-economic abilities of female citizens and encourage female labor force participation (FLFP)

One of the biggest issues facing Pakistan is the low level of female participation in the job market. Even though many women want to work, studies have shown that lack of encouragement, family support and lack of adequate skills prevents women from entering the labor force and accessing income-generating opportunities.

For the nation’s progress and given the economic crisis that has gripped the country, women need to be consistently encouraged on both a family and national level to pursue their careers and given the right skills so they can enter the job market.

The pilot program is expected to complete in March 2023 and will train 300 female trainees in digital skills. Students will also receive a stipend upon completion of their training. Based on the success and evidence generated by the pilot – this training program will be launched on a bigger scale.

PSDF and PTEGP joined Forces to Develop Punjab’s Tourism Industry.

PSDF COO (Chief Operating Officer) Ali Akbar Bosan said “PSDF as a skills expert is in tune with the training and knowledge that is required for the industry so it can shape competent workers and they in turn can deliver quality service and performance to take Punjab’s tourism economy to the next level. This is a necessary endeavor, and we are excited to partner with PTEGP to make it a reality”.

A thriving tourism sector is essential for boosting Pakistan’s economy and a well-trained workforce plays a critical role in attracting and creating an eco-system that meets international standard customer experience for tourists. PSDF and Punjab Tourism for Economic Growth (PTEGP), an initiative under the Government of Punjab (Planning & Development Board) in collaboration with the World Bank Group, signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to train 10,000 individuals in the hospitality sector. Through this partnership, the skillsets of workers in Punjab’s tourism industry will be developed and upgraded.

Both PSDF and PTEGP will work together to promote this partnership amongst key stakeholders in the tourism industry.

The MOU was signed by PSDF COO Ali Akbar Bosan and PTEGP Project Director Muhammad Waqas Malik.  Secretary Tourism Ehsan Bhutta at PSDF headquarters. PSDF will take the lead in identifying the professional areas for training in the tourism industry and mobilize its extensive network of training service providers (TSPs) to implement skills trainings. The partnership aims to activate three main elements needed to successfully expand Punjab’s tourist economy. Which includes increasing private sector participation, improving infrastructure services, and enhancing the skillsets of tourism sector workers.

PTEGP will finance the training and support in raising awareness of the project’s goals amongst relevant parties needed to safeguard its success.

PSDF Strengthens Skills of Punjab’s Rural Women, Empowering them Economically


PSDF continues its community-based skill training program, empowering the country’s rural women in livestock management skills. The women’s livestock training management (WTLM) is executed across key agricultural districts in Punjab and engages women on a community level to increase their knowledge and skills in managing livestock for better yield.

Under this program, PSDF has trained more than 8,600 women this year across 27 districts in Punjab that are agriculture-reliant for employment and household income, training them in skills to improve milk yield, animal health, prevention of disease and introducing them to modern livestock practices.

This is part of PSDF| Haryali which is focused on developing skillsets of people for a prosperous agricultural and abundantly green future. Pakistan’s economy is still heavily dependent on agriculture and women play a critical role in this sector. The agriculture sector is vulnerable (at risk) due to climate change, making it essential nationally to equip farmers and dairy-stock managers to be knowledgeable with modern methods.

These trainings not only improve women’s technical skills but also give many women the opportunity for mobility, encouraging the participation of women in public life, their self-development and acknowledge the significant role the rural woman plays in Pakistan’s economic success.


PSDF to Lead Skills development in Koh e Suleman, DG Khan, and Rajanpur under Koh e Suleman Improvement Project (KSIP)

PSDF (Punjab Skills Development Fund) has signed an agreement of PKR 150 million with Koh e Suleman Improvement Project (KISP) to lead the skill trainings for residents of Tehsil Koh e Suleman, DG Khan, and De-excluded area of Rajanpur. These areas comprise of tribal communities with low literacy levels and until now have had limited opportunities for personal and economic development. During the first phase of the project, 2000 residents will receive training which will include at least 20 percent female trainees across four key sectors; Light Engineering, Construction, Services, and Textiles. These trainings will be the first of their kind in these districts and PSDF will use its skill expertise to equip residents with market-relevant professional knowledge to commence their skill development and open career opportunities for them.

To mobilize this project, training centers will also be established in the tribal areas to execute the training and create ease of access for the residents. A stipend of Rs 3500 monthly will also be provided to the trainees to facilitate their learning journey.

The on-ground trainings are scheduled to commence in July of this year.  During the contract signing ceremony Maqbool Ahmed (Project Director, KISP) remarked, “We look forward to working with PSDF on this project, PSDF’s expertise in executing quality skills trainings will bring a lot of value for these communities and prepare them to access income-generating opportunities”.  PSDF COO Ali Akbar Bosan also reiterated this sentiment, “These trainings are aimed at developing the local resident’s skillsets in professional fields that are growing and employers are actively seeking to hire workers in. PSDF will utilize its expertise to ensure that trainees receive the right technical knowledge so they can confidently pursue employment opportunities throughout the country”.

PSDF is the country’s largest skill development fund and has established itself as a skills expert by training more than 500,000 women and men in 250 plus trades.  It has also successfully implemented trainings on behalf of FCDO, World Bank and the Government of Punjab.


PSDF Collaborates with Huawei on Digital Skills Initiative

PSDF receives 300 Smart Tablets from Huawei to support its Digital Training Programs.

PSDF (Punjab Skills Development Fund), in partnership with Huawei, will be disseminating 300 smart tablets to support trainees of its digital learning programs.  PSDF received the devices last month and will utilize them to advance the skill development of learners.

Under PSDF | E-tayyar, the organization is funding skills training in professions that are in demand by employers in the digital arena and equipping learners with skills to advance their careers in professional freelancing or online businesses such as e-commerce.  To support its efforts of closing the digital divide that exists in the country, PSDF forged a success with Huawei and Zong. It first launched the e-learning course on “How to E-lance”, in collaboration with Zong to train 10,000 youth in skills that will help them launch their online careers on Fiverr and Upwork the leading online platforms for freelancers, as well as providing free internet data to support their learning.

Huawei joined this initiative and chose to partner with PSDF based on the organization’s reputation as a skill expert and its smart approach to addressing the digital gap by bringing on leading IT stakeholders on board.

Huawei spokesperson says: “This initiative by PSDF is a great step to empower individuals so they can become active participants in the digital economy-Huawei fully supports this mission and is happy to make a contribution that supports the economic growth of Pakistan’s citizens”.

PSDF COO, Ali Akbar Bosan also highlighted the value of this partnership, “This collaboration between PSDF, Huawei and Zong creates a holistic opportunity for PSDF trainees, they will gain access to technical knowledge through PSDF courses and the digital tools they need to access their course like internet data and smart devices”.