LAHORE A high-level meeting, presided over by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, on the development of skilled labour has decided to promote private-public partnership to develop maximum workforce in accordance with the market needs. The meeting held at Chief Ministers Secretariat here Wednesday which took a number of decisions for skills development in Punjab and expeditious implementation of the programme for vocational education of the youth. A comprehensive programme for skills development will be evolved within next few days and private sector will also be consulted for this purpose. Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that a major part of Pakistans population comprises youngsters and by imparting various skills to them not only unemployment could be overcome but the dream of national progress and prosperity can also be realised. He said that in order to equip the youth with vocational education at a large scale, private sector will also have to supplement the efforts of the government and in view of this fact it has been decided to promote public-private partnership. He said that instead of relying on bricks and mortar for skills development, available resources should be utilised and in the first phase the institutes of TEVTA and Punjab Vocational Training Council which are lying closed should be made operational with the cooperation of private sector. He said that the new generation should be imparted training in such skills which could enable them earn their livelihood in the country as well as abroad. He said that certification is of vital importance for employment abroad, therefore, special attention be paid in this direction. He said that apprenticeship law for skilled workers applies on factories and industrial organisations but it is implemented only on papers in some institutions. He said that implementation of apprenticeship programme is the national responsibility of industrial organisations. Issuing instructions for ensuring effective implementation of apprenticeship programme, the CM directed to take this responsibility from TEVTA and give it to Labour Department. He directed that Secretary Labour Department should submit a comprehensive plan for the effective implementation of apprenticeship programme. He said that Punjab government has also set up Skills Development Fund in the province while the process of provision of interest-free loans to skilled persons have also been initiated with a sum of Rs 1billion. He said that in addition to training in industry and machinery to the youth, a consolidated programme of training in livestock, agriculture and dairy development should also be devised which will also help in uplift of these sectors. He said that seminars should also be arranged for seeking participation and cooperation of private sector for this purpose. He also issued instructions for setting up a special committee headed by Chairman Chief Ministers Special Initiatives Entity Khawaja Ahmad Hasaan which will submit its recommendations within a few days. Earlier, Punjab Vocational Training Council Chairman Faisal Ejaz Khan gave a detailed briefing regarding implementation of various programmes of skills development in the province, promotion of public-private partnership and imparting skills to the youth. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Ahmad Ali Aulakh, MPA Hafiz Mian Nauman, Saqlain Anwar Sipra, Planning & Development Chairman, Chairman Chief Ministers Special Initiatives Entity, Secretaries of Finance, Agriculture, Livestock & Dairy Development, experts and officers concerned attended the meeting.