LAHORE: Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Akhuwat on September 22, 2014 here. MoU signing ceremony was held at the PSDF Head Office in Lahore where Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PSDF Mr Ali Sarfraz and Executive Director Akhuwat Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib inked the agreement on behalf of their organizations. The purpose of the MoU was to develop a liaison between PSDF-funded trainees and Akhuwat for facilitating PSDF trainees so that that they can avail micro-finance loans. PSDF will also share the relevant information about Akhuwat with its trainees so that they can easily avail these loans which will enable them in starting their own business. The collaborative effort will prove to be a landmark initiative for the PSDF-funded trainees who want to become entrepreneurs but they are unable to do so have limited resources. The initiative will be a hope for poor trainees who want to start their own business or enterprise.
During the MOU signing Ceremony, PSDF CEO explained that the Fund would provide information to PSDF-funded trainees about Akhuwat and its locations in different districts. He said that it would help the trainees to understand the whole process. He further elaborated that a combined brochure of Akhuwat and PSDF, containing the basic information about Akhuwat and eligibility criteria for getting loans from Akhuwat, will be developed. To further augment the facilitation, PSDF will also include branch locations of Akhuwat on its website. Executive Director Akhuwat Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib said that special preference will be given to PSDF-funded trainees so that they can avail microfinance loans in operational areas of Akhuwat. He said that Akhuwat will provide all information about its branches locations to PSDF and also dedicate a contact person for dealing with PSDF-funded trainees.
Punjab Skills development Fund (PSDF) is a section 42 company, established by the Government of the Punjab in collaboration with the Department for International Development (DFID), UK. PSDF funds vocational training organisations for providing vocational and skills training to the poor and the vulnerable populations of fourteen districts of South Punjab – Bahawalpur, Lodhran, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalnagar, Vehari, Khaewal, Rahim Yar Khan, Lahore, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Chiniot, Narowal and Sheikhupura. Until now, PSDF has funded trainings of 52,000 men and women from its target districts of the Punjab under its various schemes for skill development. In future, PSDF plans to launch specialized schemes for labor-intensive sectors: Light Engineering, Footwear, Food Processing, Construction, Garments and Hospitality.