LAHORE: In the perseverance to further effectuate its efforts for skills development, Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) launched its new scheme, Skills for Market 2013-14 today in a ceremony here. The launching ceremony was organized at the organization’s head office in Lahore, where contracts of Rs. 397/- million were awarded to 16 training service providers. PSDF has taken on board a multitude of training service providers from both public and private sector to deliver quality training services. Under the scheme, 10,000 women from 10 districts of the Punjab – Lahore, Chiniot, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Khanewal, Narowal, Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha, Shiekhupura and Vehari – will be trained in courses relevant to livestock & farming and textiles & services. While addressing at the ceremony, COO PSDF Mr Ali Akbar Bosan said that the scheme would contribute in enhancing women’s participation in the country’s labor force. He further said that the Fund follows a competitive model for the award of contracts which ensures transparency and helps escalating the quality of training services. He said that untrained or informally-trained women remain unable to command better wages in the job market which hinders the prospective economic growth and results in the creation of ineffective markets. The particular scheme would offer training opportunities in various innovative trades which will enable better livelihood opportunities for women belonging to meager economic backgrounds.
The scheme is a sequel to the Fund’s previous two rounds of the scheme – Skills for Market. In the preceding rounds, more than 6,000 women from the Fund’s target districts of Punjab have been trained in numerous vocational trades. Skills for Market 2014-15 will feature vocational trainings in trades like; Home Based Livestock Farming, Kitchen Gardening, Food Processing, Commercial Bee-Keeping, Solar Drying of Fruits and Tunnel Farming. From the trade group of textiles & services, trainings will be provided in courses like Textiles Embellishments, Industrial Stitching, Textile Product Delivery and Marketing.
According to company spokesperson, the scheme has been designed after extensive deliberations with all the stakeholders in order to provide socially pertinent training opportunities specifically for the rural women of the Punjab in order to capacitate them to earn reasonably for their families.
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 40,000 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.