A delegation of European Union represented by EU Ambassador H.E. Mr. Jean Francois Cautain and Federal Republic of Germany represented by Acting German Ambassador, Mr. Tilo Klinner called on Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training, Engr. Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss cooperation in the 63 million Euros Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Support Project jointly funded by European Union, Germany and Norway.

Minister welcomed the delegation and appreciated their interest and efforts for supporting the TVET Sector. EU Ambassador H.E. Mr. Jean Francois Cautain discussed the details of the project and stressed the importance of coordination at national level for effective implementation of the program. He also highlighted that the project would aim at increasing private sector participation in TVET sector, enhancing public-private cooperation and developing necessary linkages between TVET institutes and industry. On significance of TVET sector for CPEC, he said that the project would also focus on identifying needs in terms of skills required for CPEC projects and tailoring training programs to meet those requirements. “CPEC is as important a project for Pakistan and the region as it is for Europe, since it would also facilitate trade between Asia and Europe”, he added.

Minister informed the delegation that Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference provides an important platform for discussing issues and initiatives in the education sector and ensuring concerted efforts at the national level. “IPEMC has already endorsed the National TVET Policy and this forum would also help facilitate coordination in the TVET Sector reform program”, he added. He said that capacity building of human resource through improvement in TVET sector is significant for the success and sustainability of CPEC projects. “Government is committed to aligning technical skills training offered in TVET sector with industrial demands including emerging human capital needs of CPEC projects”, he added. Minister said that the soft (policy) aspects of the TVET reform program are already in place and now we are moving forward with hard aspects that are: strengthening existing TVET institutes with international standards, building new training centers and developing modern curriculum for TVET sector.

The ongoing project that entered its implementation stage in January 2017 is the third phase of assistance and is called, “Support to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training sector in Pakistan (TVET III)”. The project envisions support for implementation of a National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policy and overall improvement in TVET sector through provision of demand-oriented vocational training to youth; increased private sector engagement; improved linkages between technical training centers and industry; introduction of a quality assurance and accreditation system and establishment of Centers of Competence for teacher training.