ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Information and Telecommunications Anusha Rehman Sunday said the government has started the implementation phase of a large scale National Digital Skills (Digi Skills) Training Programme, introduced to equip the youth with modern skills to earn a decent living.

Talking to state TV, she said the basic idea behind this programme was to train one million people across the country over a period of around two years.

She said that before 2013, the IT sector was totally ignored but the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government had started work in this sector on emergency basis and achieved fruitful results in the shape of first 3G,4G spectrum auction during early 10 months of the government.

She said that the Programme was aimed at equipping the youth, freelancers, students, professionals, etc. with knowledge, skills, tools & techniques necessary to seize opportunities available internationally in online job market places and also locally. The other aim was to make a workforce that is motivated by fourth industrial revolution in future.

She said due to limited employment opportunities, it was essential for upcoming workforce to have necessary knowledge and abilities to grab such opportunities. This has been envisaged to be achieved through this national level programme to train target audiences in freelancing and other specialized skills, she added.

The minister of state said the Ministry was in process of developing a portal through Ignite that can not only teach about the latest technical advancements but also act as a market place.

The need for developing coding skills, from a young age, is the need of the hour since programming is the future, she said and added that for a better future, "We need to start teaching programming at the age of 4."

"It is our responsibility to provide our kids with all the happiness that they deserve and it is only possible if we equip them with the skills they need for a successful future," she said.

She said, "We will train women with the required technological skills to enable them to earn from home."

Regarding the Digi Skills platform, the Minister said, "It is right time to develop new skills in new technologies and with this programme we are going to train one million people across the country."

Anusha said programmes like these are need of the hour in a country with such a huge population.