ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications on Friday invited proposals to train one million youth across the country under Digital Skills Training Programme.

The basic objectives of the programme are to impart training to youth and provide them opportunities to learn remarkable skills in freelancing and entrepreneurship using Internet. In an exclusive talk with APP, Digital Skills Training Programme Project Manager Usman Bin Tahir said the idea has been floated by IT Minister Anusha Rehman to National Technology Fund (Ignite), formerly known as National ICT Research and Development Fund, for setting up a portal to promote research culture at grassroots level.

The Ignite has been providing funds to ICT graduates under its National Grassroots ICT Research Initiative (NGIRI) since 2012. He said Board of Ignite has already approved floating of Request for Proposal (RFP) from partner organisations to promote excellence in technology and innovation and building a workforce for a future.

In a recent meeting, Anusha has highlighted importance of streamlining career choices for young Pakistanis who have potential to be the best in the world. She referred to Ignite, as cornerstone platform for the youth of Pakistan - a place where they could uncover their hidden potential and progress on a career path where their income and livelihood is guaranteed. Anusha said the Ministry of IT wanted to develop a portal through Ignite that would not only teach about latest technical advancements but also act as a market place.

The platform will also help bolster and support cottage industry in Pakistan. Usman said, “Need for developing coding skills, from a young age, is the need of the hour since programming is the future and for a better future, we need to start teaching programming at early age.” He said women will also be trained with required technological skills to enable them to earn from home. He said a programme like this is need of the hour in a country with such a huge population. Ignite will train 1 million freelancers and this low-budget platform will benefit millions of Pakistanis.