Sustained approach


As Pakistan grapples with a rising rate of unemployment among the youth, it has become imperative for the government to prioritize initiatives that promote youth employment and create an enabling environment for their professional development through a comprehensive and sustained approach to tackle the issue.
Youth unemployment is a multifaceted issue that demands urgent attention. The lack of job opportunities not only hampers economic progress but also poses a threat to social stability and peace. When young educated people are unable to find suitable employment, they can become disillusioned, disengaged and susceptible to various socio-economic and political issues.
Pakistan’s leadership acknowledges the significance of this challenge and has undertaken various measures to address it. In recent months, the government has emphasized policies and programs aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, skill development and vocational training. These initiatives aim to equip young individuals with the necessary tools and knowledge to excel in today’s competitive job market.
Creating conducive business environment is equally important to overcome the issue. The government must streamline regulations, reduce bureaucratic hurdles and ensure a fair playing field for both local and foreign investments. Encouraging industries that have the potential to generate employment, such as manufacturing, technology and services, will not only provide job opportunities but also boost economic growth. It is encouraging to note that more than 60,000 youth have been imparted professional training in different skills under the youth program which was initiated during the last year.
The figures were released by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat after a meeting on youth affairs. We have reported the meeting on these pages that a free training program to 40,000 young people would be initiated soon. The meeting was informed that a total of Rs 13.5 billion loans on affordable terms had been extended to the young people in business and agriculture sectors, while Rs16.5 billion more loans would be provided in the next few months.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the country’s unemployment rate in 2014-15 was 5.9% and it changed youth (age between 15 and 19) was 10.1% in 2014-15 and 10.4% in 2017-18 which shows an increase of 0.3%. The Pakistan youth (age between 20-24) also increased by 0.6% from 2014-15 (11%) to 2017-18 (11.6%).
The government should spend more budget on creating employment opportunities for all the youth. The country’s political leadership can also assist the government in developing a policy to check the unemployment rate.
Furthermore, collaboration between the government, private sector and educational institutions is vital to bridge the gap between education and employability. Reforms in the education system, with a focus on practical skills, technical training and aligning curricula with market demands, can enhance the prospects of youth entering the workforce. Public-private partnerships can facilitate internships, apprenticeships and mentorship programs that provide valuable hands-on experience and improve employability.
By promoting entrepreneurship, the government should encourage the youth to become job creators rather than job seekers, fostering innovation and driving economic growth and prosperity.