ISLAMABAD - President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday said acquisition of technical training was necessary for youth to enable them earn their livelihood, end despondency and promote positive thinking.

While addressing a prize-distribution ceremony of the National Vocational Training and Technical Commission (NAVTTC) at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, he said, "We must give hope to our youth and both National Vocational Training and Technical Commission (NAVTTC) and the Prime Minister Youth Skill Programme could be very useful in this regard.”

The president said that it was the responsibility of every segment of the society to play its due role in making these programmes successful and contribute towards national development and progress. He urged upon the NAVTTC to focus on Balochistan, particularly its coastal areas and Gwadar so that the local youth could accrue maximum benefit from employment opportunities.

He said that job opportunities would be created after the operationalisation of the Gwadar deep sea port and the economic corridor. He asked the NAVTTC to design programmes for training large number of youth to work in the shipping industry and related fields, terming it a "national service".

President Mamnoon also expressed satisfaction that the NAVTTC was acting as a useful liaison agency between skilled workforce and industrial entities. This would balance the requirement of market for skilled manpower and facilitate both the youth and the entities in hiring of skilled workforce, he added.

The president said that the placement centres had been setup in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to facilitate these matters. He said that the NAVTTC's resolve to establish such centres in other cities and divisional headquarters was commendable. He also urged traders and industrialists to employ NAVTTC trained youth on priority in their required fields. He said that it would put trained and hardworking manpower at their disposal at reasonable remuneration.

The president also appreciated holding of various training programmes and international conferences for enhancing the scope and quality of professional training and expressed the hope that a comprehensive programme in this regard would be formulated. He termed youth a great asset of the country and said they constitute 60 percent of the total population.

He said, "We want to make the youth our strength to realise our dreams," adding that the project under the NAVTTC to make the youth skilful and prepare for practical life was part of this process. He said that the Youth Skill Development Programme by the government, after passing through different stages, had reached the third phase of training of the 25,000 youth.

President Mamnoon said the youth after stepping into practical life would not only be able to shoulder the financial burden of their families, but would also contribute to the growth of national income and stability. He gave away prizes among the winners of skill competition in different fields including graphic designing, survey design, information technology, electrician, plumbing, cooking, and fashion designing.

Minister for Professional Training and Education Balighur Rehman said the government was focusing on the vocational training of youth and for the first time in the country's history a National Skills Strategy had been formulated. He said that under the PM's Skill Development Programme, 25,000 youth were given vocational and technical training, while another 50,000 would be added to the number this year. Next year, about one million persons would be given training, the minister added. He said a pilot project of 12 National Vocational Schools had been started from sixth grade and onward.

NAVTTC Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmed Cheema said that imparting skilled education to youth could help them bear the responsibilities of society amicably. He said that vocational training could change the fate of nation if the government, industrialists and media made the sector a priority.

Cheema said skill competitions were a source of inspiration for youth and added that next time, competitions in the areas of high-tech and heavy machine operators, gardening and house service would also be held.