ISLAMABAD - Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, on Tuesday said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a great opportunity for the country and stressed that it should be properly harvested by engaging youth of the country to reap maximum benefits from that mega-economic initiative.

"If the CPEC is not utilized properly and youth are not engaged in the projects under CPEC, then a huge gap would be created which would be hard to fill in," Marriyum said adding that the government was actively engaging less developed areas and youth of the country in the CPEC projects.

Addressing a round-table conference on Strengthening Skills: A national Investment for Tackling Youth Unemployment here Tuesday the minister said that the process of technical training of the youth could be further improved by public-private partnership.  Marriyum stressed the need to change the attitudes and behaviors of the country's youth by engaging them in creative activities for socio-economic development of the country.

She said that concrete measures were being taken for implementation of Vision 2015 and there was a need to remodel the infrastructure of technical training to develop industry and strengthening skills in line with the vision 2015, Sustainable Development Goals, and budgetary documents.

The minister said that the country had a huge young population which was a great national asset.  She said that the youth were required to be given a right direction.

She said the government had initiated a number of programmes especially for youth to promote entrepreneurship among them for ensuring their better future. She also highlighted the importance of technical and skill-based education saying that the youth were facing social  pressure for getting higher education degrees despite the fact that they were more interested in skill-based and technical education.

In this regard, Marriyum Aurengzeb said that the mindset of society and parents were needed to be changed to convince them for encouraging their children to get skill-based trainings. The minister said that the government introduced Prime Minister Youth Programme which was successfully being run during the past five years. She said a big number of Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were working for development of youth like Aman Foundation which is playing an appreciable role in providing technical education to the youth. She said the government had introduced the much-awaited film policy to promote the national culture in the world. Marriyum said   that under this policy, the film industry would further flourish which would also create numerous jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for the youth. The minister said that second elected government was completing its five-year tenure which was a good news for the country's democratic system.

She said that the continuity of democracy was strengthening the system and the state institutions, besides making them more and more independent. She suggested promoting of dialogue initiatives in order to address the challenges in regards to converting youth into a development force.

­The minister underlined the need for providing job-oriented training to youth by the public sector.

She said that the incumbent government took several steps to overcome power crisis and 11000 MW electricity was added to national grid. She also reiterated the need for on the job training in the public sector organizations with the view to enhance the capacity of the work force.