Ignite BoD approves contract award of DigiSkills Training Project, National Incubation Centre

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APP52-15 ISLAMABAD: January 15 - Minister of State for IT and Telecom Mrs. Anusha Rehman chairing 57th Board Meeting of Ignite-National Technology Fund. APP

ISLAMABAD, Jan 15 (APP):The Board of Directors (BoD) of Ignite – National Technology Fund (formerly National ICT R&D Fund) under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Anusha Rahman Monday approved the award of contract of DigiSkills Training Project and National Incubation Centre Karachi.
Expressing satisfaction over the on target launch of the Peshawar NIC, she said, “National Incubation Center, Peshawar will usher a vibrant new era of entrepreneurship and innovation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, enabling many aspiring tech entrepreneurs and startups in creating game-changing solutions.”
The board also accorded approval for the of the award of contract for the flagship one million DigiSkills programme.
Anusha Rahman said the “DigiSkills Programme” was being initiated to fill Industry-Academia gap through appropriate training and mentorship.
She said the objective was to have more skilled people who could earn their livelihood working from home by equipping them with modern technical knowledge and e-lancing techniques.
The board was told that initially 12 training modules were being introduced in DigiSkills programme which would be scaled up in the subsequent phases. Initial modules being launched touch upon the areas of digital literacy, marketing, freelancing, graphics design, creative writing and e-commerce management etc.
The key differentiating factor of the programme would utilize artificial intelligence and data driven decision making for matching content with trainees and to fine tune the quality of content and coach to trainee ratio. Subsequent phases would include deeper areas of IT focus like data sciences, cyber security and others.
Discussing the target number of trainees, the board expressed the view that “one million is a national target and programme will be available free of charge to much larger number of the population to make people self-employable”.
Establishing the linkage of the programme to the other major programmes being under taken by MoITT the minister elaborated that the DigiSkills programme was a scaled version of the ICT for Girls programme being implemented by the USF Co which started with the establishment of some 150 labs complete with Microsoft 4Cs training programme for around 35,000 disadvantaged girls per year.
The programme was then scaled to 226 girls’ schools with training and teachers included to benefit more than 110,000 girl students of Islamabad region annually.
To further scale the efforts the Ignite, board gave target to Ignite Co about a year ago to initiate planning for the one million programme which finally attained current shape and form after various deliberations and consultative sessions with the industry and several meetings of the board.
The board appreciated the efforts that had gone into the design and planning of the programme and the ultimate launch and transparent conclusion of the RFP process.
The board also congratulated the ignite team on successful launching of NIC Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar and asked Ignite chief executive officer to gear up his team for next endeavors, launching of National Incubation Center Quetta and Karachi respectively.