LAHORE - Pakistan, which has the 9th largest labour force in the world, is lacking properly trained workforce in line with the requirements of different booming industries.

Productive workforce plays a major role in attaining the potential economic growth through competitiveness. It enhances productivity and increase competitiveness. Most of the workforce in Heating, Ventilation, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) field is trained under ‘Ustadi-Shagirdi’ system. There is dearth of institutes which could properly train young men who could play their role in the booming air-conditioning industry of the country as well as earn handsome foreign exchange by getting employment in UAE and other gulf countries.

The current demand for skilled manpower is around 5000 professionals per annum in the services, field segments and the engineering design segments,” Abu Zafar Mahmud, a leading HVAC&R consulting company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) said here. The shortage was mainly due to the fact that the supply had not kept pace with the demand of the industry which had been witnessing an unprecedented boom in the last few years given the large number of big projects coming in the country and the sudden increase in number of malls, entertainment complexes, mega residential projects, hotels, SEZ, manufacturing units”, he said.

“As the Pakistani construction and infrastructure industry is witnessing a rapid growth, accordingly, HVAC&R building services is also growing exponentially in terms of volume,” said Abu Zafar and added that in year 2010-11, total sale of split air-conditioners was 325,600 which rose to 345,000 in the year 2011-12 and it is expected to grow at more faster pace in future.

On the education front what appears to be a matter of concern is that the component in air conditioning is introduced late in engineering courses. The lack of emphasis on this component had created little desire among students to opt for this field, said Abu Zafar.