Pakistan has huge potential of solar energy: Shafqat

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ISLAMABAD, May 20 (APP):Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood on Monday said that Pakistan has huge potential of solar energy saying that its demand will be increased in next few years.

He stated this while addressing the launching ceremony of Sector Skills Council for Renewable Energy (SSC-RE) to train and produce the skilled workforce as demanded by the industry.

The ceremony was organized here by SSC-RE in collaboration with NAVTTC and TVET SSP.

Key renewable energy sector associations like Independent Power Producers Association (IPPA), Renewable Energy Association of Pakistan (REAP), Solar Quality Foundation (SQF) along with leading business industry representatives from the energy sector, diplomats, development sector representatives attended the launch event.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said that it was the best example of public-private partnership. We have to make sure the right training of women besides providing of safe environment, he added.

He hailed the NAVTTC Chairman for initiating and promoting technical skills in the country.

Shafqat also shared his thoughts about the importance of skills training in Pakistan and emphasized that skills development and education was the top priority of the present government.

Deputy Mission Head of European Union in Pakistan Ms. Anne Marchal shared her thoughts about the significant work that has been done in Pakistan on the reform process and development of TVET sector and improvisation of the technical training institutes since 2011.

Ambassador of Norway to Pakistan Kjell-Gunnar Ericson appreciated the approach of involvement of private sector in the TVET sector. ‘It’s the private sector who shall be on the driving seat to inform government on the skills demand and standards of training delivery.” he said.

Executive Director NAVTTC Dr Nasir Khan said that establishment of skills councils will not only help to bridge the gap between the public-private sector for the policy alignment as well as producing qualified workforce, but it will also improve economic benefits for the industry.

He further elaborated on the importance of these sector skills councils indicating that “Sector Skills Councils is a successful strategy in other developed countries like UK, New Zealand, Australia and Germany and can play a vital role in promoting TVET sector in Pakistan, equally benefitting the industry for economic benefits.”

Dr. Fatima Khushnud, head of SSC-RE shared her thoughts on the role of skills council in energy sector of Pakistan. She highlighted that the interest of the private sector in the demand-driven training, as well as demand analysis of workforce, will greatly assist in the development of skilled workforce as per the need of their own industry.

The SSC in renewable energy sector look forward to assists government of Pakistan in mapping the skills requirement and provide input on need of the skilled human resource of the energy sector, she added.

Chairman NAVTTC in his concluding remarks highlighted that Sector Skills Councils are being promoted as one initiative to support the reform of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Pakistan.

They are intended to be a mechanism to secure the greater involvement of employers in the design and implementation of publicly-funded training and to increase the quality and scale of training.

The initiative is supported by the TVET Sector Support Programme (SSP), which is funded by the European Union and governments of the Germany and Norway.

Since 2011, the TVET SSP supports the Government of Pakistan in reforming the TVET system focusing on promoting cooperation between training providers and industry to improve quality of training as well as enhance employability for the youth.

Establishment of SSCs in light engineering, agriculture, transport, leather and sports goods sectors are also under consideration by NAVTTC to promote the public-private partnership.