LAHORE - Welcoming international cooperation for better national future, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said Punjab has set a target of making two million youth skillful according to market needs.

“Sixty percent population of the country comprises youngsters. Youth is our future and it is our responsibility to make future of the country bright,” the chief minister said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of two-day Skills Expo and Job Fair- 2015 arranged by Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority on Saturday.

A handout cited the CM as saying: “We will welcome the cooperation of World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other monetary institutions in these programmes. If these institutions don’t support us, we will provide resources for making the youth skillful for the bright future of Pakistan and I am ready to provide billions of rupees for the purpose.”

Shahbaz also announced Rs75,000 interest-free loan each for 4,000 skilled youth.

The loans will be distributed among skilled youth completing training with the collaboration of Tevta and Akhuwat for which Rs500 million has been allocated. He said that the aim of this excellent programme is to provide honourable job to skillful youth. He said that the provision of resources for empowering youth through technical training is a useful investment and happy news of bright future.

He said Tevta is playing an important role for preparing skilled manpower according to the market needs and promotion of technical education. He said there will be revolution of skill development to the efforts of this institution.

The Chief Minister said that Punjab government is paying special attention to skill development and this exhibition will be helpful in preparing skilled manpower.

He said that instead of spending money on buildings, equipping the male and female students with technical education is the vision of Punjab government and this is the only way to take Pakistan forward.

He said that image of the country will be enhanced by making the youth skilled in agriculture, industry and other sectors according to the market demands and Tevta is working most effectively in this regard and also forwarding the vision of Punjab government.

Shahbaz Sharif said that preparation of manpower with quality training is of great importance for the stability of the country and achieving the production targets. He said that more skilled manpower will be helpful for strengthening the economy.

He said that youth will be empowered through vocational training programmes and Pakistan will be put on the road to progress and prosperity. He said that there has been no coordinated contact of industry, agriculture and other sectors of economic development with the vocational training institutions in the history of the country and all matters have been dealt individually due to which skilled force could not be prepared according to the market requirements.