Skills for Employability is a British Council programme that addresses the demand for skills in a global economy so that national educational and training systems are better equipped to respond to labour market demands and learner needs.

Started in 2008, the Skills for Employability programme in Pakistan has so far contributed to develop five partnerships between the Pakistani and UK technical and vocational training (TVET) institutes/colleges. We focus on building strong relationships with industry and employers, governments and training providers, using the UK’s expertise on standards, innovation and creativity in the field of skill training where the UK is a market leader.

Through policy dialogue, seminars and conferences, Skills for Employability also brings international agencies and governments together to share the skill challenges and solutions for their education and training systems.

Following are few of the programmes running under Skills for Employability:

Pakistan Scottish Apprenticeship Programme

Apprenticeship programmes are considered to be one of the most practical ways of providing on the job training and have shown great results in skill development across the world. Increasingly employers across the globe are welcoming apprenticeship programmes as a means to bridging the skills gap. In Pakistan, interest in apprenticeship programmes is strengthening too, especially amongst the small and medium enterprise sector.

The British Council Pakistan in collaboration with the Scottish Government implemented the Pakistan Scottish Apprenticeship Programme in 2016. The pilot programme targeted small to medium scale industries and engaged over 100 apprentices in various industries in Gujrat, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Karachi, where apprentices received both on-job and classroom training and developed their soft and technical skills. At the close of this project at least 80% of the apprentices were retained for full time employment. 

Based on the success of this project, the British Council is now working closely with federal and provincial governments to introduce successful elements of this pilot project in local programs. 

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Balochistan Entrepreneurship and Leadership Training (BELT)

The British Council in partnership with SMEDA and SEED Ventures developed a training program and successfully delivered the last Balochistan Entrepreneurship and Leadership Training on 7 March 2017 in Quetta. The first two of the four planned training sessions were held in Quetta on 16 May 2016 and 16 November 2016 respectively. The third training was held in Gwadar on 19 January 2017. This programme was designed to inspire young people in Balochistan to develop an entrepreneurial mind set, provide information on pathways they can explore to turn their ideas into successful businesses and improve their leadership skills.

The last training held in Quetta invited existing entrepreneurs. A total of 157 participants went through the training programme with participants from different fields including mineral, agriculture, fisheries and livestock. A lot of women entrepreneurs were present and actively contributed to the discussions. The module stressed upon the importance of educating oneself in order to increase environmental awareness. Trainer, Shahmeer Ansari, enlightened the participants with the qualities and skill set required to be an effective entrepreneur, which includes leadership skills, entrepreneurial understanding and being able to use resources effectively.

The next plan of action includes coming up with a programme that is able to provide them with an advanced set of skills which may be used to support their business ideas and help them materialise into successful start-ups as a result contributing to the economy of their province.

Capacity Building of Staff of Sindh Anti-Corruption Establishment

The British Council has partnered with the Anti-Corruption Establishment – Government of Sindh, Pakistan to provide technical support in capacity building of investigation officers on investigation and prosecution skills in Pakistan.

This partnership mainly covered following programmes:

  • Study Visit to the UK
  • Needs Assessment
  • Training of Inspectors / Staff of the Anti-Corruption Establishment

A senior delegation participated in a short study visit to the UK. Meetings were held with various academic and professional organisations including SOAS – University of London, Transparency International, Anti-Corruption Forum UK, National Crime Agency and The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. It was evident from the interaction during the visit that the UK can offer technical expertise in developing course for capacity building around investigation and prosecution skills. It was also recommended that in parallel, necessary steps need to be taken towards system reform and area specific approach.

CIPFA was selected to conduct a training needs assessment for the anti-corruption establishment in March, 2017, as well as do a series of trainings for investigative officers, in mid-May 2017. The three-day training was led by head of training at CIPFA, Les Dobie.

International Skills Partnerships

Our International Skills Partnerships allow us to get experienced organisations in the UK skills sector to work with respective organisations in Pakistan. These organisations benefit from improved offers to leaners and greater staff capacity as well as increased exposure to new markets. The local organisations are able to develop innovative approaches and find proven ways of overcoming challenges. These partnerships vary and projects have been delivered in a range of sectors from hospitality, TVET to energy sector.

The British Council makes sure that with our support and advice, partnerships can deliver real, sustainable change that can be replicated to transform national educational system in Pakistan.

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